The federal E-Verify program has been a hot immigration topic throughout the past year.
The internet-based hiring tool operated by the SSA and Department of Homeland Security simply allows employers to verify the SSN used by employees. For the time being, the e-verify program is used by employers on a voluntary basis, but its use has been the subject of much legislative contention.
An executive order signed by President Bush was going to make use of the E-Verify program mandatory by federal contractors…but legal challenges to the program put that order’s effective date on hold. The rule seemed to be scheduled to take effect until President Obama’s inauguration put it on further hold.
The Construction Law Monitor reported on the program’s ups and downs here.
While the program is on an indefinite hold, it’s certainly not out of the news.
This past weekend, the Seattle Times reported that Puget Sound employers are voluntarily using E-Verify to check the legality of its employers. Running a search on Twitter, a popular microblogging platform, shows that conversations about E-Verify are not lacking.
Contractors should be especially interested in the E-Verify controversy.
On the one hand, if the program does become mandatory, the construction industry will certainly be one of the most scrutinized by regulators.
On the other hand, since the construction industry is at the center of the immigration debate, contractors can protect themselves by being careful with who they hire, and voluntarily using the E-Verify program.