Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) who is positioned to lead the upcoming immigration reform debate on Capital Hill also wants to scrap the E-Verify electronic employment verification system and replace it with one that incorporates biometric identification (such as a photo ID).
According to an article published by Workforce Management
, Senator Schumer faults E-Verify for not being able to detect identity fraud. According to Schumer, E-Verify, which compares information from I-9 forms against Social Security and Department of Homeland Security databases is unfair because it singles out people with Hispanic surnames and is ineffective because illegal workers can slip through the system by stealing Social Security numbers and making fake IDs.
“Only by creating a biometric-based federal employment verification system will both employers and employees have the peace of mind that all employment relationships are both lawful and proper,” Schumer said in prepared remarks during a speech Wednesday, June 24.
Schumer’s opposition to E-Verify is welcomed by the Society for Human Resources Management and other HR groups that are pushing for the New Employee Verification Act, which would establish an electronic verification system with a biometric option.
However, E-Verify also has ardent supporters on Capital Hill. Last Wednesday, the House approved a homeland security appropriations bill that includes a two year reauthorization of E-Verify (which had been set to expire on September 30. The House also approved redirecting $50 million in the DHS budget to the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services for E-Verify enhancements.
“With the political divisions that exist within and between parties and interest groups, it’s difficult to project the ultimate fate of comprehensive immigration reform. Additionally, healthcare and energy reform are likely to consume much of the the summer and fall legislative calendars. However Schumer stated, “I’m going to try my best to do [comprehensive reform] this year.”