Friday, February 01, 2008

Verifying Legal Status

One of the major issues to come out of the 2008 legislative session may be tied to digital identity, how to verify the status of individuals. In this case, it deals primarily with the legal status of aliens. SB 81 requires, for example, that the DABC verify the legal status of someone to be in the country before providing a liquor license. It requires that a public agency verify that a contractor is using "Status Verification System" to determine legal status of its employees when using the services of that contractor. There are two federal systems that I am aware of at the federal level (and this must be federal) that could do that, e-Verify and EVVE. As far as I can tell so far, e-Verify is for use by employers who must document such. So it does not meet the needs for some of the requirements outlined in SB 81. Federal and State agencies communicate with the EVVE system via an XML message called a Vital Event Transaction (VET). The federal and/or state agency generates a request to be sent to the EVVE hub using the VET format. I'm not sure if EVVE is fully designed to meet the requirements specified in the bill. Both options have the potential to be the Status Verification System. We need to determine if either one of them will actually do the job.

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