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Mississippi Adding Driver’s License Information to the E-Verify System

By Daniel Cherry | Published 07 Jun 2011 06:39pm | comments

An expansion of a program aimed at identifying those who are working illegally in the U.S. will be getting a test run in Mississippi. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how E-Verify is getting another tool to find out if workers are legal to hire.

Mississippi will become the first state to use information from driver's licenses to verify the status of workers. John Kalahar is a spokesman with the Mississippi Department of Public Safety. He says employers can go online and check out their new employee.

"They will take that information they have from a Mississippi driver's license. They will plug it into the E-Verify web site system. They can go to the web page, and we will simply send them back a "yes they are clear" or a "no they are not"".

Kalahar says no information will be released to employers that's not normally on a standard job application. Bill Chandler is with the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance. He says E-Verify doesn't need to be expanded because it's not working as it is.

"They've got almost a five percent error rate in that system. A lot of people who are not immigrants are going to be affected by mismatched numbers, and that's already been the case."

But small business leader Ron Aldridge says the extra information will make the process safer and more efficient.

"When you add on driver's licenses, as well as social security numbers, as well as whatever Homeland Security records there may be. There's certainly more chances of finding some problem with someone's records to see whether they're legal, illegal or if somebody made a mistake "

The federal government will be watching Mississippi during the 6 month trial run to see if use of driver's license information makes E-Verify more effective. After that other states might follow along.

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