The Department of Homeland Security has designated E-Verify as the employment eligibility verification system for all federal contractors.
On June 9, the Department of Homeland Security designated
E-Verify as the electronic employment eligibility verification system that all
federal contractors must use as required by Executive Order 12989, as amended.
(An “executive order” is an
action by the President that has the legal authority of a law, often dealing
with regulations or the workings of agencies to help direct their operation.)
is a free Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services in partnership with the Social Security Administration. It allows
enrolled employers to quickly confirm the legal status of new hires.
"The basic principle is this: if
you're working for the federal government and you’re being paid with federal
taxes, you ought to make sure that your employees are obeying federal law when
it comes to their employment authorization, and this executive order as
implemented in detail by the regulation will do precisely that," announced
Homeland Security SecretaryMichael Chertoff. "E-Verify
is a proven tool that helps employers immediately verify the legal working
status for all new hires."
Bushamended Executive Order 12989 in order to direct all federal
departments and agencies to require contractors, as a condition of each future
federal contract, to agree to use E-Verify to attest to the employment
eligibility of all persons hired during the contract term and all persons
performing work within the United States on the federal contract.
When asked at the press conference if he
knew how many contractors this executive order would involve, Chertoff said, “I
think we were potentially talking about hundreds of thousands, if not millions
of workers. This is going to apply to contractors who are getting a new
contract. Once this comes into effect they're going to be required to run all
their employees through E-verify. Or if they have a contract and they're going
to bring new employees onto the contract, they're going to have to do that.
“Since I can' t predict what contracting is going to be like in the next two or
three years I can't give you a precise number, but it's going to be at a
minimum hundreds of thousands and I think maybe millions of people will be run
through that program.”
According to the DHS, more than 69,000
employers currently rely on E-Verify to determine that their new hires are
authorized to work in the United States. Employers have run more than 4 million
employment verification queries so far in fiscal year 2008. Of those queries,
99.5 percent of qualified employees are cleared automatically by E-Verify.
Contractors―National Associationhas not issued a direct response to this
executive order, it has in the past come out against mandatory E-Verify
its website, PHCC cites errors in the Social Security Administration’s database, burdens on small businesses, a “labyrinth of conflicting laws and
regulations,” and the potential for liability.
To view the executive order, visitwww.whitehouse.gov.