White House Delays rule requiring electronic verification

{from the American City Business Journals/Denver on 4/27/09}

Federal contractors will now have until June 30 before they have to use the E-Verify system to check the eligibility of their employees to work in the U.S.

The Obama administration postponed the date the electronic verification rule would apply to government contractors and subcontractors in order to have more time to review it, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The rule was issued by the Bush administration in November.

Business groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the rule, contending the government doesn’t have the authority to make use of E-Verify mandatory. Congress created the E-Verify system as a voluntary program, they noted. More than 117,000 employers now use the Web-based system, which compares information supplied by employees with government records.

“We applaud the administration’s decision to take more time to re-evaluate its questionable policy mandating E-Verify use for federal contractors,” said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center. “We are hopeful that they will agree that E-Verify is the wrong solution at the wrong time.”

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