USCIS has announced a powerful new security enhancement to E-Verify, but will it create endless problems for employers? On November 18, 2013, USCIS announced a new safeguard to E-Verify that was designed to detect and prevent fraudulent use of social security numbers (SSN). There is a huge black market comprised of individuals selling stolen social security numbers that belong to another individual. The new safeguard enables USCIS to “lock” a SSN that appears to have been stolen or misused, protecting the SSN from further potential misuse in E-Verify. USCIS will use a combination of algorithms, detection reports, and analysis to identify patterns of fraudulent SSN use and then lock the number in E-Verify. This will help deter and prevent fraudulent use of SSNs in the E-Verify system. An employee attempting to use a “locked” SSN will generate a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC). The employee receiving the TNC will then have the opportunity to contest the TNC directly with the Social Security Administration. For employers that have high turnover rates, such as those in the hospital industry, this new security feature has the potential to create an onslaught of new TNC’s to manage—a burden that will be at the expense of the employer. Of course, this new “lock” feature can have negative consequences for U.S. citizen individual workers as well. For now, the jury remains out on whether this new feature will prove to be a useful new tool. To speak with a Johnstone Adams immigration attorney on this topic, call Johnstone Adams at (251) 432-7682 or toll-free at (866) 732-3267, or visit our Website.

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