Friday, April 17, 2009

Federal Contractor E-verify rule delayed until June 30, 2009

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

Background to the new rule:

President George W Bush issued an executive order in 2008, directing federal agencies to require that federal contractors agree to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees. The amended Executive Order reinforces the policy, first announced in 1996, that the federal government do business with companies that have a legal workforce. This new rule requires federal contractors to agree, through language inserted into their federal contracts, to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all persons hired during a contract term, and to confirm the employment eligibility of federal contractors’ current employees who perform contract services for the federal government within the United States.

The effective date of the final rule requiring certain federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify has been delayed until June 30, 2009.

Who is affected?

The rule will only affect federal contractors who are awarded a new contract after June 30 that includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause (73 FR 67704). Federal contractors may NOT use E-Verify to verify current employees until the rule becomes effective and they are awarded a contract that includes the FAR E-Verify Clause.

What contracts are included?

The E-Verify requirement would apply to federal contracts with a performance period longer than 120 days and a value over $100,000. The rule covers subcontractors if a prime contract includes the clause. For subcontracts that flow from those prime contracts, the rule extends the E-Verify requirement to subcontracts for services or for construction with a value over $3,000.

See USCIS FAQs on E-Verify

Previous E-verify post

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Border Czar announced by President Obama

President Obama has chosed Alan Bersin to work with DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to handle illegal immigration and drug violence issues along the Mexican-American border. Mr. Bersin held a similar position under Attorney General Janet Reno in the 1990s. His official title will be Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs.

Time magazine quotes Bersin as saying
What's going on in Mexico, across the border, in Juarez, requires that we support the government of Mexico in its very valiant, courageous effort to both stem violence and also deal with the drug trafficking organizations.
The Obama administration has promised to target border violence and work with Mexican authorities to curb drugs and arms trafficking. Hundreds of federal agents, along with high-tech surveillance gear and drug-sniffing dogs, are being deployed to the Southwest.

As reported by
CNN, Bersin is a former California secretary of education, superintendent of San Diego City Schools and practicing private attorney.

DHS has issued a detailed Fact Sheet explaining its approach toguarding the southern border. The goals are to:

1. Guard against violent crime spillover into the United States;
Support Mexico's crackdown campaign against drug cartels in Mexico; and
3. Reduce the movement of contraband in both directions across the border.

DHS aims to do this by the following initiatives:
  • Doubling Border Enforceement Security Task Force Staffing

  • Tripling DHS Intel Analysts on the SWB

  • Increasing ICE Attaché Personnel in Mexico by 50 percent

  • Doubling Violent Criminal Alien Sections Assignments

  • Quadrupling the Number of Border Liaison Officers

  • Bolstering Secure Communities Biometric Identification Deployment

  • Implementing 100% Southbound Rail Screening

  • Increased Maritime Interdiction Operations

  • Immediate Port of Entry resources enhancements

  • Periodic Evaluation and Review of the SWB Initiative.

Photo courtesy of Paul Garland