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Fortune magazine just ranked FedEx as one of the most admired companies in the world but its voluntary use of E-verify–a program that tracks eligibility to work in the United States and plagued with problems–is anything but admirable.
I just found out that my U.S. citizen uncle was almost fired from his job at FedEx because E-verify employee eligibility program failed to locate him.
He isn’t transgender or undocumented. Seriously, he has been living here since the 1980s as a legal permanent resident and then a citizen of the United States for more than 15 years. This is preposterous.
But it gets worse. Why is he not eligible to work? My uncle was told that he has to inform the Social Security Administration when one becomes a U.S. citizen from a legal permanent resident because USCIS and the SSA do not share information. Wait, does that mean that every former legal permanent resident and now naturalized U.S. citizen who forgets to inform SSA of their change in status may fail E-verify and face the pink slip at work?
In an irony of sorts, if you are undocumented and employed using a different identity as in a borrowed or stolen social security number, e-verify will not detect you.
The White House and Congress continue to play politics by extending ineffective immigration “enforcement” measures over immigration reform. Obama extended e-verify for all federal contractors last September and Congress approved 3 years of funding for it in the Homeland Security Appropriations bill. I do wonder how many people have been falsely targeted and removed from their jobs since then.