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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » DHS Announces Commitment to E-Verify, Recission of No-Match Rule

DHS Announces Commitment to E-Verify, Recission of No-Match Rule


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On July 8, 2009, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the Administration’s support for a regulation that requires employers to use E-Verify in order to be awarded federal contracts. Additionally, the department announced its intention to rescind the controversial No-Match Rule.

Secretary Napolitano praised E-Verify as “a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to main a legal workforce.” The regulation requires the use of E-Verify by covered federal contactors and subcontractors, including those who receive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. The rule will take effect on September 8, 2009.

The federal government had announced a fourth delay in implementing the E-Verify rule on June 2, 2009, postponing the expected rollout date to September 8, 2009. The final rule, arising out of Executive Order 12989, was originally scheduled to take effect on January 15, 2009. The rule was initially postponed in January in response to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Chertoff, D. Md. No. 8:08-cv-3444) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland challenging the legality of the rule.

E-Verify is an internet-based system administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), that compares information from an employee’s I-9 Form against federal government databases to verify employment eligibility. Once implemented, the regulation will require all federal contractors holding a contract with a performance period over 120 days and a value over $100,000, as well subcontractors providing services or construction with a value above $3,000, to verify the employment eligibility of new hires and re-verify the employment eligibility of employees hired after November 6, 1985.

The announcement came mere hours before the Senate approved an amendment to the 2010 Homeland Security appropriations bill that would make E-Verify permanent and would require all federal contractors to use E-Verify beginning September 8, 2009.

DHS also announced its intention to propose a new regulation to rescind the 2007 No-Match Rule. The No-Match Rule was never put in effect because it was blocked by court order shortly after its issuance. The No-Match Rule details steps employers may take when they receive a no-match letter from the SSA.  SSA informs employers by letter when specific employees’ names and corresponding Social Security numbers provided on the employers’ Form W-2 wage reports do not match SSA’s records.  These no-match letters may be used as evidence of an employer’s constructive knowledge that specific employees may be unauthorized workers.