Groups sue Chertoff over E-Verify
- By , Michael Hardy
- Dec 29, 2008
Several organizations have filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security
Secretary Michael Chertoff that challenges the legality of requiring
federal contractors and subcontractors to use the Homeland Security
Department's E-Verify system. The system's purpose is to identify
people who are not legally eligible to work in the United States.
organizations include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders
and Contractors, Society for Human Resource Management, American
Council on International Personnel and the HR Policy Association.
to the complaint, filed Dec. 23 in the U.S. District Court for
Maryland's southern division, the legislation that created E-Verify
does not allow the government to require contractors to participate in
the program. The law, which is an amended version of the Illegal
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, identifies
E-Verify as one of several pilot programs that contractors can choose
to take part in, but they cannot be required to do so.
President George W. Bush signed an executive order June 6 that changed
the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require contractors and
subcontractors to participate in E-Verify. The order is set to take
effect Jan. 15, 2009.
Officials at the Information Technology
Association of America also have concerns about the contractor
requirements, but they chose not to sign with the plaintiffs. However,
an ITAA spokeswoman said, "we will watch this challenge very closely
[because] we believe this could delay the Jan. 15 implementation date."
spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a DHS
agency, declined to comment because the litigation is pending.
Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.