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Nancy Berryhill, an Acting Commissioner of Social Security, recently testified in front of the House Subcommittee on Social Security on the widespread use of Social Security Numbers (SSNs) beyond their intended function.

Most of her testimony concerned the history of SSNs, past security procedures, and proposed future ones.

E-Verify is an electronic employment eligibility verification system run by the federal government that is supposed to check the identity information of new hires against government databases to verify that they are legally eligible to work.

S., and is becoming the not-so-voluntary system of choice.

Many employers are required to use E-Verify through an ever-expanding web of state requirements.

PHOENIX — An Arizona law requiring employers to verify that new hires are authorized to work in the United States is deterring undocumented immigrants from coming and staying in the state, a new study finds.

“We find that an Arizona law reducing employment opportunities for unauthorized migrants decreased emigration from and increased return migration to Mexican source regions with strong initial ties to Arizona,” authors of the study stated.

That move immediately increased the value of having an SSN, even if it was fraudulent.

The result, after 1986, was a massive boom in the creation and sale of black market SSNs, identity theft, and voluntary identity loans that allow employers to obey the letter of the law when collecting I-9 forms and for illegal immigrants to continue to work.

Cadena said they used data from a Mexican identification-card program to analyze geographic migration patterns.

They found the rate of immigrants returning to Mexico nearly quadrupled from 2005 to 2010, around the same time E-Verify was mandated.

If the government mandates E-Verify then it would mandate a government computer check of the SSNs and other identity documents used to get a job that would increase the value of having a valid SSN even above what the I-9 currently promotes.

Berryhill acknowledges the above point when she testified that, “As long as the SSN remains key to accessing things of value—credit, loans, and financial accounts, and thus numerous common goods and services—the SSN itself will have commercial value, and it will continue to be targeted for misuse.” She also stated that: While not intended, the SSN has become the personal identifier most broadly used by both government and the private sector to establish and maintain information about individuals.

E-Verify is not yet mandated nationwide but several states have mandated its use, to various degrees, and many large employers currently use it.

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