Federal Contractors E-Verify Program Postponed Again
February 2, 2009
On January 28, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security agreed to postpone (for the second time) the implementation of its rules requiring that federal contractors use the E-Verify program. As reported in an earlier eBulletin, use of the E-Verify program was supposed to become mandatory on January 15, 2009. In December 2008, however, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups sued the DHS on the ground that Congress made the E-Verify program expressly voluntary under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Thus, according to the Chamber, any attempt to make the E-Verify program mandatory violates the immigration statute and is unconstitutional. In light of the suit, the DHS agreed to postpone mandatory participation in the E-Verify program until February 20, 2009 so that the new administration could evaluate it. The DHS's most recent postponement extends the scheduled implementation date until May 21, 2009.