E-Verify extended to March 2009

Congress' decision on whether to reauthorize the Homeland Security Department’s controversial E-Verify employment verification program has been pushed to March 2009. Meanwhile, the program will get $100 million in new funding under the continuing resolution funding legislation signed by President Bush Sept. 30.

E-Verify, formerly known as Basic Pilot, has been operating for more than a decade. About 80,000 employers use it, mostly on a voluntary basis. However, Bush signed an executive order June 6 that requires federal contractors and subcontractors to participate in E-Verify.

The program has been controversial because of the alleged high error rates in the federal databases used to verify eligibility. The Social Security Administration cannot immediately verify about 7 percent of the queries, and Citizenship and Immigration Services cannot quickly confirm about 1 percent of applicants as authorized to work in this country, according to a report issued June 10 by the Government Accountability Office.

E-Verify’s authorization was set to expire Nov. 29. Although the House approved a five-year reauthorization, the legislation did not go to a vote in the Senate. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) put a hold on a bill to continue E-Verify and requested that the Senate attach a provision to distribute additional employment visas to foreign workers.

Under the continuing resolution, E-Verify will operate through March 6, 2009. The new funding is part of the homeland security appropriation for fiscal 2009 that was folded into the legislation.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.