The new director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Alejandro Mayorkas, held an informal “pen and pad” session with reporters yesterday where he outlined the agency’s commitment towards improving its information technology as they prepare for the possible expansion of E-Verify to all employers. Although the USCIS has not yet developed detailed plans or budget estimates, Mayorkas mentioned that the E-Verify system will need to have the capacity to handle a surge in the number of queries once a nationwide mandate is established. He also indicated that USCIS may expand the scope of verification by tracking how long a person has been in the country and using a person’s biometrics, as advocated by Senator Schumer during a hearing in July.
With healthcare reform dominating the political landscape, it’s unlikely that Congress will tackle immigration anytime soon, although reform advocates are hoping to see a bill by next spring. For more information, check out the Morning Roundup – September 15th on DHS’s aptly named site, the Blog @ Homeland Security.