DHS Secretary Announces Support for Federal Contractor E-Verify Rule, Intention to Rescind No-Match Rule
On July 8, 2009, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the Obama administration’s support for a delayed regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify to check employees’ work authorization. Secretary Napolitano also announced the Department’s intention to rescind a Social Security “No-Match” rule in favor of the E-Verify system.
Following the previous announcement of the delay in the effective date of the new E-Verify rule until September 8, 2009, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) instructed federal contractors not to use E-Verify to verify current employees until the rule becomes effective and they are awarded a contract that includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s E-Verify clause. The new final E-Verify rule will require federal contractors to agree, through language inserted into their federal contracts, to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all persons hired during a contract term, and to confirm the employment eligibility of federal contractors’ current employees who perform contract services for the federal government within the U.S. A DHS press release said the Obama administration intends to “push ahead” with full implementation of the rule, which will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards government-wide starting on September 8, 2009.
The DHS also will propose a new regulation rescinding the 2007 No-Match rule, which was blocked by court order shortly after issuance and has never taken effect. That rule established procedures that employers could follow if they receive Social Security no-match letters or notices from DHS that call into question work eligibility information provided by employees. These notices most often inform an employer many months or even a year later that an employee’s name and Social Security Number provided for a W-2 earnings report do not match SSA records, often due to typographical errors or unreported name changes. The DHS said that E-Verify “addresses data inaccuracies that can result in No-Match letters in a more timely manner and provides a more robust tool for identifying unauthorized individuals and combating illegal employment.”