2009 April 19 Sunday
Obama Administration Delays E-Verify Against Illegal Aliens Again

The Obama Administration inserts a third delay into an effort to make sure illegal aliens do not work for US federal contractors.

WASHINGTON—The applicability date of the final rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to begin using U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify system has been pushed back by six weeks to June 30, 2009.

The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (collectively known as the Federal Acquisitions Regulatory Councils) will publish an amendment in the Federal Register tomorrow postponing the applicability of the final rule until June 30, 2009. The rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to agree to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees was first published on Nov. 14, 2008, and went into effect on Jan 19, 2009.

The extension provides the Administration an adequate opportunity to review the entire rule prior to its applicability to federal contractors and subcontractors.

I doubt the Obama Administration ever would have initiated the E-Verify system of background checks for prospective employees if they had to decide at the start. Now they'd like to get out of it. But it is more visible to cancel it when it is fully developed and ready for more extended roll-out.

Says Mark Krikorian:

"An adequate opportunity to review the entire rule"? That sounds like bureaucrat-ese for "We're looking for a way to kill this thing without anyone noticing."

This stage of E-Verify use has already been delayed more than once.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Agreeing to a request by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the federal government will delay until February 20, 2009 the implementation of a new procurement rule that requires federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify. The rule was scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2009.

The US Chamber of Commerce opposes mandatory use of E-Verify. It would reduce the supply of cheap labor. So that's predictable.

Under current federal law, E-Verify use is strictly voluntary and the program may not be used to re-authorize existing employees. On December 23, 2008, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit challenging the use of an Executive Order to create a federal procurement rule requiring federal contractors with projects exceeding $100,000 and for sub-contractors with projects exceeding $3,000 to use E-Verify to authorize new employees and to re-authorize all of their existing employees.

The lawsuit, Chamber of Commerce, et al v. Chertoff, et al., is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The Chamber's co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Society for Human Resource Management, the Associated Builders and Contractors, the HR Policy Association, and the American Council on International Personnel.

It makes sense that the Associated Builders and Contractors oppose E-Verify since one seventh of the workforce used by construction companies are cheaper illegal aliens.

About one out of seven (or 15 percent) of workers employed in construction in the U.S. is an illegal immigrant.[1] Unless strong mechanisms are put in place to prevent the hiring of illegal immigrants, it is reasonable to expect that a similar proportion of workers hired for construction projects under the stimulus bill would be in the country illegally.

Part of the run-up in the federal debt is going to employ illegal aliens.

This delayed rule would more than double the number of companies using E-Verify by adding another 150,000.

Currently, 118,917 employers have signed up for E-Verify, which Congress established as a voluntary system.

E-Verify would be more efficient to use if it allowed pre-hire screening.

Stuebner told a federal official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that the process can be costly indirectly.

Employers can use the system only to check on an employee who recently has been hired, but not before that employee has been hired.

For Stuebner, whose 1,100 company has about an 80% turnover rate, that means providing the new employees with a uniform, training and other equipment. "We could spend more than a $100 on an employee only to find out that they can't work," he said.

1000 additional employers sign up with E-Verify every week.

E-Verify is a voluntary program for all employers, with very limited exceptions. Companies can access E-Verify online and compare an employee's Form I-9 information with over 444 million records in the SSA database, and more than 60 million records in Department of Homeland Security immigration databases. E-Verify is an essential tool for employers committed to maintaining a legal workforce, and the number of registered employers is growing by over 1,000 per week.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 April 19 12:04 PM  Immigration Law Enforcement


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