Senator Works to Require Federal Government Contractors to Use E-Verify

by Tom Ahearn June 23, 2009

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley has introduced an amendment that would require any entity that enters into a contract with the federal government to participate in the E-verify program.  E-verify is a free tool allowing all employers to electronically verify the work authorization of newly hired workers.

“When people enter this country illegally, they create undue delays and hardship for people following the rules.  E-verify is an effective tool to fight illegal immigrants who break the law,” Grassley said.   “During the last immigration debate, the Senate spoke unanimously that government contractors should not receive a free pass when it comes to their hiring practices.  We’ve seen too many illegal immigrants hired by federal contractors to turn a blind eye to this national security risk.”

Over the last several years, reports have shown many examples of illegal aliens working at military bases or installations and allowing them to work in sensitive areas.

Grassley said that those who do business with the federal government should be held to the same standard as the agencies in the executive branch.

Grassley has pushed for mandatory participation in an electronic employment verification program. The existing program is being used by nearly 130,000 entities, including the federal government, which is required to use the program.

E-verify, formerly the basic pilot program, was first authorized in 1996 allowing only six states to participate.  The program was reauthorized in 2001 and then expanded in 2003.  The last expansion allowed employers in all 50 states the opportunity to voluntarily use the program.  President George W. Bush signed an executive order in August 2007 that required contractors to use E-verify for any employees performing work for the federal government. The implementation of this order has been postponed by the Obama administration.

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tahearn@i-9compliance.com

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