Update – February 17
Reports indicate that there is no E-Verify participation requirement in the stimulus bill that should be signed later today.
Orginial Post: February 4
The E-Verify program, a proposed national electronic employment verification system, continues to stagger toward full implementation. As we noted last fall, some federal contractors and subcontractors were supposed to start participating in the program as of January 15. However, the Bush Administration postponed that compliance date to February 20, in response to litigation from business groups. The basis of the litigation concerns how the rule was developed and implemented (by executive order and federal procurement law), claiming it circumvented federal law. Since the Obama Administration has called for a review of all Bush Administration rules and regulations that had not taken effect by the transition in power, the deadline has effectively been postponed until late May.
Part of the Senate deliberations over the economic stimulus package includes whether or not to require companies that receive money in this bill to participate in E-Verify. While there are references to the program (called the basic pilot) in the bill that passed the House, there are apparently no requirements mandating participation. As the Congress has tried to avoid immigration legislation since a serious effort in the 110th Congress, it remains to be seen whether an immigration related provision like E-Verify would survive.