Basic Pilot Program

Basic Pilot Program

Basic Pilot was the official name of this program for the first ten years of its existence beginning in November 1997. The program's official name has since been changed to e-verify but much of the press and public still continues using the original name just as the green card has been mostly pink for over ten years.

The Basic Pilot Program is a voluntary federal program that involves the verification checks of the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the United States Department of Homeland Security databases. Conducted by Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Bureau (USCIS) with support from SSA, the program is used to verify the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees and has been in use since November 1997. To perform these checks, the system utilizes social security numbers (SSNs), Alien Registration Numbers, and I-94 Numbers. Although voluntary, over 5,000 employers across the United States use the free Basic Pilot Program to verify the eligibility of all new hires.

The program essentially removes the uncertainty that accompanies document review during the I-9 process. However, a 2006 DHS commissioned study concluded that the program's 10.9% error rate (defined as the rate at which legal workers receive an initial non-confirmation through the system) was “unacceptably high.”

To participate, an employer must enroll and sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that spells out the responsibilities of the SSA, DHS-USCIS, and the employer.

Legislation signed by the President in December 2003 extended the Basic Pilot Program until November 2008 and grew to encompass all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

As one of the largest corporations to undertake the project, Dunkin' Brands, Inc. has taken a national lead on the Basic Pilot Program by requiring that all of its franchisees register for the program by June 1, 2006. President George W. Bush paid a surprise visit to an Alexandria, Virginia Dunkin' Donuts on July 5, 2006 to speak briefly about the program and its effects on immigration policy. A contract team was hired to monitor the progress of enrollment in the program and to ensure that all franchisees partake in the program.


* [ Basic Pilot as part of U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services SAVE Program]
* [ Employer Registration Page]
* [ Press Release on President Bush's Visit]
* [ Basic Pilot Program Fact Sheet]

External links

* [ Article on Comprehensive Immigration Reform]
* [ President Bush discusses Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Nebraska]

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