DHS Has Re-Established Program to Verify the Immigration Status of Non-US Citizens who Apply for certain Federal Benefits

Practice Areas

By: Angelita Chavez-Halaka, Armando Escobedo, Gladys Gervacio

SUMMARY

On June 17, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS will re-establish the “Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements” (SAVE) Matching Program which will be used by a handful of state agencies to determine eligibility for benefits such as unemployment compensation (UC) and Medicaid.

Brief History

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986, amended by the Public Law of 1996, required DHS to establish a system to verify the immigration status of foreign applicants when they apply for or receive certain types of benefits such as UC and Medicaid.

What is the Matching Program?

The matching program permits authorized users (federal, state or local government agencies) to request the immigration status information from federal immigration records of non-US citizens who apply for certain federal benefits.

Who Will Use the Matching Program?

The states of Texas, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts will use information obtained through the SAVE program to determine whether an applicant possesses the requisite immigration status to be eligible for UC benefits.

The state of California, through the CA Department of Healthcare Services, will use the matching program to determine eligibility of those applying for Medicaid benefits.

Which Individual will be Subject to Verification?

  • Non-US citizens
  • Naturalized citizens who have applied for certificates of citizenship
  • Derived US citizens that DHS and USCIS have a record of as an applicant, petitioner, sponsor or beneficiary

What Data Can be Reviewed?

  • Alien Registration Number
  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Nationality
  • Social
  • Country of Birth
  • I-94 Record / Date of Entry
  • Additional Biographical Data
  • Immigration Status
  • Sponsorship Data
  • Employment Eligibility

*Please Note: The matching program will become effective on June 17, 2019, unless there are interested members of the public that require modification and republication of the notice. As always, we will continue to monitor the situation.

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