DHS issued a press release today announcing two new regulations intended to improve employee verification, as part of the government’s larger immigration and border security strategy:
President Bush recently announced that the Federal government would make it easier for employers to verify employment eligibility and continue to hold them to account for the workers they hire. To that end, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the release of two Federal regulations to help businesses comply with current legal hiring requirements intended to reduce the employment of unauthorized aliens.
The first proposal would permit U.S. businesses to digitize their I-9 employment forms, which are used to verify eligibility to work in the United States. The other proposed regulation would set forth guidance for U.S. businesses when handling no-match letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA) concerning submitted employee Social Security numbers or from DHS concerning documents submitted by employees during the I-9 process.
These seem like common-sense steps to me in the development of an effective employee verification system. But they need to be implemented carefully; takng steps to digitize these records creates new privacy and security concerns that must be carefully managed.