The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration
(SSA) have established an electronic system called E-Verify (formerly
the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program) to assist
employers further in verifying the employment eligibility of all newly-hired
employees. As most businesses with federal contracts know, effective September
8, 2009, compliance with the E-Verify system became mandatory. Executive
Order 12989 mandates the electronic verification of all employees working
on any federal contract. The amended Executive Order reinforces the policy
that the federal government supports a legal workforce. In short, E-verify
is mandatory if the prime contract for services or construction is more
than $100,000 with a period of performance longer than 120 days. For subcontractors,
the value of services or construction must exceed $3,000.
The E-verify system requires that employers run new hires, and existing
employees hired after November 6, 1986, through the E-Verify system to
determine the person’s eligibility to work in the U.S. E-Verify
compares the information on the employees name, Social Security Number,
date of birth, citizenship status, and any other non-citizen information provided.
As of October 12, 2009 there has already been close to 400,000 quires
run through the system. E-Verify is an essential tool for employers committed
to maintaining a legal workforce, and the number of registered employers
is growing by over 1,200 per week.