The requirement that federal contractors utilize E-Verify has been delayed once again. The argument for this delay is to allow the Obama administration time to review this requirement.
E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose of E-Verify is to allow participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. It is free and voluntary.
However, the federal government has been planning for some time to require federal contractors working on contracts worth more than US$100,000 to utilize E-Verify. The purpose is to crackdown on federal contractors who hire illegal immigrants. The Bush Administration had initially stated that this requirement would come into effect on January 15, 2009; however, due to a lawsuit filed by the US Chamber of Commerce regarding this very requirement, the implementation of the requirement was delayed until February 20, 2009.
Now, the Obama Administration has delayed the implementation of the requirement until May 21, 2009. According to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, E-Verify is "an integral part of our immigration enforcement system…The review is intended to see what needs to be done to increase the capacity for the E-Verify system..." By implementing this rule, it is expected that the number of employers who utilize E-Verify will double, greatly increasing enforcement of illegal immigration.
Of course, there are people criticizing the Obama Administration for the delay. According to Texas Representative Lamar Smith, "It is ironic that at the same time President Obama was pushing for the passage of the stimulus package to help the unemployed, his Administration delayed implementation of a rule designed to protect jobs for US citizens and legal workers." It is obvious that people have much faith in the E-Verify system and strongly support its ability to enforce illegal immigration in the US.