The latest government attempt to impose the use of E-Verify on employers is being challenged in court. This time it is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business and human resources groups attacking the legality of new regulations that force federal government contractors to use E-Verify for its employees.
The regulations, which go into effect Jan. 15, 2009, require federal contractors with projects exceeding $100,000 lasting 120 days or more and for sub-contractors with projects exceeding $3,000 to use E-Verify to confirm its employees’ eligibility to work. It also requires contractors to reconfirm the employment authorization of existing employees hired after Nov. 6, 1986 who work on government contracts.
The Chamber says the government is using an executive order to get around normal law-making processes.
“This massive expansion of E-Verify is not only bad policy, it’s unlawful,” said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC), the Chamber’s public policy law firm. “The Administration can’t use an Executive Order to circumvent federal immigration and procurement laws. Federal law explicitly prohibits the secretary of Homeland Security from making E-Verify mandatory or from using it to re-authorize the existing workforce.”
The lawsuit asks the court to declare the new regulations illegal and void.
Employer groups have criticized E-Verify as too costly and imperfect to require use by federal contractors and subcontractors.
The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, is Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Chertoff, et al.
For more information on the controversial E-Verify program, please see our other article here.