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Bush Orders Federal Contractors to Use E-Verify

Update: E-verify deadline moved to September 2009

On June 6, President George W. Bush issued an executive order requiring all federal government contractors to use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of all new hires and existing personnel assigned to perform work on future federal contracts.

The amended Executive Order 12989 states: “Adherence to the general policy of contracting only with providers that do not knowingly employ unauthorized alien workers and that have agreed to utilize an electronic employment verification system designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security to confirm the employment eligibility of their workforce will promote economy and efficiency in Federal procurement.”

The executive order doesn’t address whether subcontractors also will be required to use E-Verify, but it grants rulemaking authority to the Department of Homeland Security. The order comes at a time of increasing criticism of E-Verify and congressional hearings on finding a substitute.

Text of the executive order is available at the White House website: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/06/20080609-2.html.

We will provide more detailed information on the executive order in the next issue of Federal Employment Law Insider.