Big Y announces partnership with Homeland Security

The partnership will ensure all employees are legally working in the U.S.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Big Y announced a mutual agreement with The Department of Homeland Security Wednesday.

A Big Y spokesperson said the partnership will ensure every Big Y employee is legally working in the United States. The program they enrolled in is called Image which will ensure background checks of applicants will go through the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement as a part of the hiring process.

Undocumented immigrants have committed fraud like stealing someone’s identity or producing false documents in the past to get jobs.

Homeland Security Special Agent Matthew Etre said Big Y is just the 10th business in Massachusetts to sign up for the program, and the 14th to do so throughout New England.

Etre told 22News all future employees will be screened using a program called E-Verify.

“Big Y can utilize this to check on an individual to see if they are OK to be employed at a particular company,” Etre said. “It’s one additional step in checking the authenticity of someone.”

The director of employer relations at Big Y told 22News they’ve never had any problems with fraudulent employees in the past, but that this new program is a good way to double check. Owners of companies can face jail time if they hire an employee who isn’t eligible to work in the U.S.

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