Hundreds of thousands of people who have immigrated to the United States with valid work visas might be prevented from gaining employment because of a faulty government database. The web-based data system E-Verify is used by employers to check on the immigration status of potential employees.
Although it is not intended to be used in such a manner, a lot of employers do make use of the database as a form of screening system to try to weed out certain employees before giving them a job. This might mean that anyone who has been erroneously listed as being ineligible for work might never find out that their information is incorrect.
Established six years ago back in 2007, the E-Verify system is a database based on the internet that includes information regarding the immigration status of residents of the United States and can inform potential employers as to their entitlement to work. Only around 10% of employers in the United States currently make use of the database, generally on a voluntary basis, with the system having been designed with the aim of being used by employers after the offer of a place of employment has already been made.
However, according to a US Citizenship and Immigration Services report the database contains numerous errors, with the American Civil Liberties Union estimating that should all national employers be forced to use the database, as many as 200,000 people per annum could be refused employment based on false information.