On July 8, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release announcing the agency’s support for the delayed regulation that would require certain federal contractors to use E-Verify to check employee work authorization. After four delays in implementation, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano confirmed the regulation will indeed become effective on September 8. Simultaneously, Secretary Napolitano announced DHS’ intention to rescind the Social Security No-Match rule, which has been on-hold for nearly two years due to litigation contesting the validity of the rule (see the article in this issue regarding the No-Match rule).

The federal contractor/E-Verify regulation will require certain federal contracts to include a clause committing the government contractor to use E-Verify for their new hires and all employees (existing and new) assigned to any work on the contract. The rule requires the E-Verify clause for prime federal contracts with a period of performance longer than 120 days and a value above the simplified acquisition threshold of $100,000. The rule only covers subcontractors if a prime contract includes the clause. For subcontracts that flow from those prime contracts, the rule extends the E-Verify requirement to subcontracts for services or for construction with a value over $3,000. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the FAQ on the federal contractor regulation.

E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by USCIS that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of employees. E-Verify checks employee-provided I-9 information against records contained in Social Security Administration (SSA) and DHS databases. Pursuant to the federal enabling legislation, E-Verify is voluntary for employers. However, several states have passed laws requiring some employers to use E-Verify. (For information on the most stringent state laws affecting E-Verify, see the December 2008 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.)