On Thursday, July 9th the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2010 Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2892) containing several provisions related to immigration. Most notably, the bill would make E-Verify a permanent program and would require federal contractors to use E-Verify to check the employment authorization of new employees hired for the contract and all employees already working on the contract. E-Verify is an online program run by the federal government where employers can check the employment authorization of employees. The program works by crosschecking the information provided by an employee on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with the Social Security Administration’s and Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) databases. Currently, E-Verify is a voluntary program for employers, except where state law requires its use. E-Verify was initially created with the lifespan of 4 years, but has been extended ever since its inception. In 2008, new regulations were issued that would require federal contractors under certain types of contracts to use E-Verify for new hires and employees working on the contract. However, the date the regulations were to go into effect has been extended repeatedly, most recently until September 8, 2009. This week, the DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano announced that DHS fully supports E-Verify and stated that on September 8th, DHS would be ready to implement the regulations requiring federal contractors to use E-Verify as a condition of their contract. H.R. 2892 continues to be under review. We will provide any updates as soon as they become available.