Stimulus Bill Would Require E-Verify Participation

Embedded in the nearly 650-page $819 billion stimulus bill (H.R. 1) that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday is a provision requiring contractors hired using stimulus funds to use the E-Verify employment verification system. Section 1114 of this bill, as introduced in the House, reads:

None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to enter into a contract with an entity that does not participate in the E-verify program described in section 401(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1324a note).

The mandatory implementation date of the beleaguered E-verify program was recently postponed yet again until May 21, 2009. Under a final rule arising from an executive order issued by former President George Bush, certain federal contractors were initially required to use the electronic employment verification system by January 15. The program was subsequently delayed until February 20 after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups filed suit challenging the rule in December. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is expected to publish a formal announcement of the postponement in tomorrow’s Federal Register. For the time being, this means that solicitations the government makes prior to May 21, 2009 will not contain the E-Verify related contract clauses that the federal contractor regulation mandates, and that are the triggering mechanism for compliance.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.