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Secretary Napolitano and USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas Announce Anti-Fraud Enhancements to E-Verify

Release Date: 
November 10, 2010

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

WASHINGTON–Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas today announced the expansion of the E-Verify program's capabilities to include U.S. passport photo matching—further enhancing the integrity of the program by enabling E-Verify to automatically check the validity and authenticity of all U.S. passports and passport cards presented for employment verification checks.

"E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that helps employers and businesses throughout the nation maintain a legal workforce," said Secretary Napolitano. "Including U.S. passport photo matching in E-Verify will enhance our ability to detect counterfeit documents and combat fraud."

"U.S. passport photo matching is another in the long line of enhancements we have made to improve the integrity of the E-Verify system," said Director Mayorkas. "Adding U.S. passport photos expands our current photo matching efforts and will play a significant role in preventing and detecting the use of fraudulent documents—all part of major anti-fraud initiatives undertaken by the Department."

Beginning today, E-Verify employers are now able to verify the identity of new employees who present a U.S passport or passport card by comparing that data with State Department records. Approximately 10 percent of all E-Verify queries currently provide a U.S. passport to establish both identity and employment authorization in order to prove employment eligibility.

Since September 2007, E-Verify has provided photo matching capabilities to employers throughout the nation to verify the identity of new employees when they presented employment authorization documents or permanent resident cards as proof of identity and work authorization for the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

E-Verify is a free, easy-to-use web-based system—operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration—that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees. E-Verify is now used by more than 230,000 employers at more than 800,000 worksites.

For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

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