Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich believes that credit card companies could play a part in verifying immigration status and employment eligibility, which could help control immigration fraud. He announced that as president he would create a new guest worker program, reform the current e-verify system, and outsource immigration status checks to credit card companies. “We’d be far better off to outsource e-verify to American Express, MasterCard or Visa, because they actually know how to run a program like that without massive fraud,” said Gingrich.
Gingrich’s immigration proposal hopes to streamline the application process for H-1B visas. The plan would take advantage of the credit card companies’ behavior-tracking software, which tracks credit card purchases, and Gingrich says that the same software could be used to look at behavioral patterns and detect when someone is improperly using a visa.
The current H-1B visa application process is too long and difficult, and may cause skilled workers to take their expertise to foreign countries if they can’t obtain H-1B work visas in the U.S., according to Kerry Fields, Professor of Clinical Finance and Business Economics at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. “Industries are suffering greatly in the United States, because the U.S. government cannot well-administer the [H1B] visa program,” Fields said.
Research Director for the Aite Group, Julie McNelley says, however, that regarding preliminary identify verification, “I don’t think that outsourcing it to private industry makes a whole lot of sense because the government source data is the best data available for this.”