On June 6, the Bush administration issued an executive order saying that all companies hired to perform work for federal agencies must use an electronic verification system to ensure that their employees are legally eligible to work in the United States. On June 9, the Homeland Security Department designated its online E-Verify system for use in the verification process. The Executive Order will be implemented through a Federal Acquisition Regulation contract clause that is being proposed this month.The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has posted FAQs on E-Verify for federal contractors. The first FAQ is very helpful:
As a current or prospective Federal contractor, am I required by the Executive Order or the proposed rule to enroll in E-Verify now?
Not at this time. At this time, the E-Verify program remains a voluntary program for employers, including federal contractors. The Executive Order instructs Federal agencies to require contractor participation in E-Verify as a term of future contracts, and the proposed rule provides detailed guidance on how that requirement is to be implemented. However, the proposed rule is not a final rule; it is a proposal that is open for public comment at this time. There may be substantive changes to the rule before it becomes final. Moreover, the final rule will not be effective until 30 days after publication. Under the proposed rule, you would only be required to enroll in E-Verify if and when you enter into a Federal contract or subcontract that requires participation in E-Verify as a term of the contract. Although Federal Contractors are not yet required to participate in E-Verify, you are encouraged to enroll in E-Verify now to verify the employment eligibility of your new hires.