Yesterday, the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously approved a $42.6 billion fiscal year 2010 spending bill for the Homeland Security Department, which includes a provision that would reauthorize the E-Verify program until 2011. As previously reported, the E-Verify program is set to expire on September 30, 2009, unless Congress takes action to extend it.
Advocates on both sides of the immigration debate have been pressing President Obama and congressional leaders for comprehensive immigration reform, and the timing of this 2 year E-Verify extension surely reflects that. Most insiders agree that electronic verification (in some format) will be a central component of the new immigration regime.
In the meantime, the spending bill must now be approved by the full Appropriations Committee, the entire House of Representatives and the Senate before it becomes law. This is not likely to happen before Congress’ August recess, so the exact fate of E-Verify will most likely be decided at the last minute. Stay tuned for further updates.