Archive for the ‘Department of Homeland Security’ Category

c/o Blacklisted News

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Freedom’s Phoenix>> AP

WASHINGTON – The system Congress and the Obama administration want employers to use to help curb illegal immigration is failing to catch more than half the number of unauthorized workers it checks, a research company has found.

The online tool E-Verify, now used voluntarily by employers, wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time, according to Westat, a research company that evaluated the system for the Homeland Security Department. E-Verify missed so many illegal workers mainly because it can’t detect identity fraud, Westat said.

“Clearly it means it’s not doing it’s No. 1 job well enough,” said Mark Rosenblum, a researcher at the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, Washington think tank.

E-Verify allows employers to run a worker’s information against Homeland Security and Social Security databases to check whether they are permitted to work in the U.S. The Obama administration has made cracking down on employers who hire people here illegally a central part of its immigration enforcement policy, and there are expectations that some Republicans in Congress will try in coming weeks to make E-Verify mandatory.

E-Verify correctly identified legal workers 93 percent of the time, Westat said. However, previous studies have not quantified how many immigrants were fooling the E-Verify system. Much of the criticism of E-Verify has focused on whether U.S. citizens and legal immigrants with permission to work were falsely flagged as illegal workers.

Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, who is writing the Democrats’ immigration bill and has fought expanding E-Verify because of its flaws, said Wednesday that the fact that E-Verify was inaccurate so often shows that it is not an adequate tool.

“This is a wake-up call to anyone who thinks E-verify is an effective remedy to stop the hiring of illegal immigrants,” Schumer said.

A so-called worker verification process like E-Verify is considered essential to any immigration overhaul proposal that has any chance of approval in Congress.

Westat’s report, completed in December 2009 using data from the previous year, was quietly posted on Homeland Security’s Web site Jan. 28 along with a summary that pointed out E-Verify is accurate “almost half of the time.”

“While not perfect, it is important to note that E-Verify is much more effective” than the I-9 paper forms used by most employers, the summary said.

Rosenblum, who has studied E-Verify, said Westat’s evaluation shows it doesn’t make sense to substantially expand and invest in E-Verify without fixing the identity theft problem.

Bill Wright, a spokesman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said the agency, part of the Homeland Security Department, has created an anti-immigrant identity fraud unit in Buffalo, New York, to address the issue.

The agency is developing a way for people to screen themselves through E-Verify so they can show potential employers they can legally work.

About 184,000 of the nation’s 7 million to 8 million employers are using E-Verify, the Homeland Security Department says on its Web site.

Congress gave DHS about $100 million to spend on E-Verify in its 2010 budget.

Extension Is Not The Answer, Napolitano Says


WASHINGTON – Napolitano, the former governor of Arizona, is sympathetic to opponents of Real ID. In fact, she used to be one herself. But she says waiving the law’s requirements, as was done last year, is the wrong way to go.

“One of the reasons we had Real ID and now, Pass ID, is because the 9/11 Commission had a recommendation that we improve the security quality of driver’s licenses. And because Real ID has been rejected by the states, just by granting extension after extension after extension, we’re not getting to the pathway of more secure driver’s licenses.”

Under the current provisions of Real ID, travelers from states not in compliance with the law would, among other things, not be able to use their driver’s licenses as IDs to board commercial flights. That would cause massive travel disruptions during the holiday season, requiring additional screening of virtually all travelers. No one expects that to happen. But like Napolitano, the governors want to see the new law approved, rather than once again extending Real ID’s deadline.

“It appears it could be extended again, but really, you’re putting a Band-Aid on a pretty big open wound,” Quam says. “What the governors have said for a long time is, you need to change the law — the law is flawed.”

But time is running out for a congressional fix, which means a last-minute blanket waiver of Real ID is becoming more and more likely.

Blaming border fence for deaths makes little sense

c/o San Diego Union Times >> ALIPAC

Those immigration activists who oppose more border fencing don’t have to convince us of the folly of trying to solve our immigration problem with nothing more than barbed wire and metal barriers. We’re with them. Unlike those Americans who’d like to simply build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and call it a day, we’ve never been convinced that this was a wise strategy. ::: MORE HERE:::

South Carolina Updates Homeland Security On Federal REAL ID Program

NEMA projects PASS Act’s Greenlight by December ’09
c/o NEMA

On June 16, 2009, the “Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification Act of 2009”(PASS ID) that would repeal and replace the REAL ID Act of 2005 in order to allow all states to fully comply with security measures designed to make ID’s safer was introduced in the Senate.


The bill was introduced by Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI), a member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, along with seven other co-sponsors, four of which also serve on the committee. The PASS ID Act removes certain provisions of the REAL ID Act including the requirement that State’s share identification information with each other as well as the strict rules governing use of REAL ID compliant identification to board commercial aircraft while keeping other non-controversial requirements. In July, a hearing was held to examine PASS ID legislation and Secretary Napolitano testified on behalf of the Department of Homeland Security.

On July 27, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee ordered the bill reported favorably but
as of this time, no full Senate vote has been scheduled.

Despite Secretary Napolitano communicating directly with Governors through a letter, there remains a stalemate on REAL ID implementation. The Department is reluctant to continue extending the end-of-year deadline, but 13 states stand statutorily prohibited from implementing the program. A majority of states and NGA have endorsed PASS ID. It is the hope of the Secretary to see PASS ID approved by December 31.

E-Verify is a voluntary system used by about 134,000 employers, though it is mandatory to some degree in 12 states. Under an executive order from the Bush administration, federal contractors were supposed to begin mandatory use of E-Verify in January. However, that deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 8 due to a lawsuit. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently said the Sept. 8 deadline would be firm.


Flaw could allow dishonest workers to thwart the system

c/o Federal Computer Week
Alice Lipowicz

The Homeland Security Department’s E-Verify employment verification system cannot detect identity theft and fraudulent applications, according to testimony before a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee.

The Internet-based E-Verify system allows employers to check Social Security numbers for their employees and prospective employees to determine whether the numbers are valid and the employees are therefore eligible to work. However, it is not designed to detect borrowed or stolen Social Security numbers.

“E-Verify is not without its flaws, including one fundamental problem: its inability to detect identity theft,” Lynden Melmed, former chief counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), told the committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship Subcommittee on July 21. “Unlawful workers can beat E-Verify by using another individual’s valid identification.”

USCIS has been expanding its database of photographs to be used as a back-up checking tool to ensure that the images of applicants presenting their Social Security numbers to E-Verify match in appearance the images in photos existing in current government systems linked to the same Social Security number. However, the photographic matching is limited in scope, Melmed added.

Melmed endorsed the idea of strengthening E-Verify to include possible fingerprint collection.

“Congress should therefore give consideration to using E-Verify as a platform and expanding photo-tool for currently issued documents and/or incorporating a new biometric identification document,” Melmed said.

Former USCIS Commissioner James Ziglar told the panel, “If someone has stolen an identity and presents legitimate documents connected to that identity, or presents fraudulent documents which make use of stolen identity data, the purpose of the employment eligibility verification exercise can be defeated.”

“In my opinion, it would border on irresponsible not to seriously analyze the possibility of incorporating a biometric identification and verification module into the E-Verify system,” Ziglar said.

E-Verify is a voluntary system used by about 134,000 employers, though it is mandatory to some degree in 12 states. Under an executive order from the Bush administration, federal contractors were supposed to begin mandatory use of E-Verify in January. However, that deadline has been pushed back to Sept. 8 due to a lawsuit. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently said the Sept. 8 deadline would be firm.

The E-Verify system has been controversial due to alleged high error rates in the databases used. USCIS acknowledges a 3.1 percent rate of initial non-matches in the system.

The Migration Policy Institute on July 20 issued a report recommending that DHS test several options to strengthen E-Verify, including use of personal identification numbers and biometric scans.

This speaks for itself…  DHS is threatened by dead conservative idealogues.