Yesterday, President Bush signed a spending bill which includes funding for the E-Verify Program until March 6, 2009. E-Verify is the federal government’s Internet-based system for U.S. employers to verify the work eligibility of new hires. Participation in the E-Verify program remains voluntary for most U.S. companies, but recent legislative and executive actions at the federal and state level have mandated its use for a growing number of businesses and other employers.
Although E-Verify has now been temporarily reauthorized, Congress will still need to deal with long term renewal of the program when it reconvenes next year. In addition, there is still an open issue as to whether federal contractors who provide services/construction valued at more than $3,000 will need to use E-Verify as stipulated in President Bush’s executive order , signed earlier this year. This requirement will likely take shape next year after implementing regulations have been drafted.