On July 23, 2009, a bipartisan group in the House and Senate reintroduced “The Secure America Through Verification and Enforcement Act” (SAVE), which would require employers to use E-Verify to ensure that their workers are authorized to work in the United States. This SAVE legislation is largely the same as the bill first introduced in Congress on November 6, 2007. According to its sponsors, the SAVE is designed to reduce illegal immigration by gradually phasing in the use of E-Verify and increasing border security with additional border patrol agents and new technology and infrastructure.

The SAVE legislation would phase in the mandatory use of E-Verify by employers over a four-year period, starting with the federal government, federal contractors and employers with more than 250 employees. Smaller businesses would be required to begin using the EVerify system in a graduated manner. While passage now is uncertain, the reintroduction of the SAVE legislation reflects the public’s growing desire for employers to hire and maintain only a documented workforce. Considered in this context, and examined against all the states that have passed legislation requiring the use of E-Verify, employers would be well advised now to become familiar with E-Verify so they can readily incorporate it into their operations when it becomes mandatory at the federal level.