The New Employment Verification Act: The Functionality and Constitutionality of Biometrics in the Hiring Process Note
In 1990, Congress created the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform to assess and make recommendations regarding the implementation and impact of U.S. immigration policy. Unanimously, the Commission proposed employment-based immigration reforms that have lead to the creation of E-Verify, an Internet-based electronic verification system used by employers to verify a prospective worker’s eligibility. Today, the system compares a prospective worker’s identification information, such as her name, date of birth, and social security number with information contained in databases housed by the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. Several members of Congress, however, have proposed legislation that would require prospective workers to submit biometric information to curb identity fraud and existing shortfalls in the verification process. This Note examines the practical and legal implications of a nationally mandated biometric verification system and whether such a system is constitutionally viable under current Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. Ultimately this Note argues that no matter how unsettling the collection of biometric information by the government may be, at least in the employment hiring context, a nationally mandated biometric verification system will most likely pass constitutional muster.
Holmes, Grayson Colt, "The New Employment Verification Act: The Functionality and Constitutionality of Biometrics in the Hiring Process Note" (2010). Connecticut Law Review. 97.