Core provisions: On July 8, the Senate approved an amendment to the 2010 homeland security appropriations bill that would make E-Verify, the federal government’s voluntary employment verification system, permanent. The amendment would also require all federal contractors to use E-Verify beginning September 8, 2009.Employers can currently use the program to verify employment eligibility of new hires by comparing information from I-9 forms with federal government databases. The comparison is done through a website operated by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.
The Senate passed the amendment, which was offered by Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), by a vote of 53-44. The House of Representatives previously voted to extend the program for two years. Also added to the bill is an amendment offered by Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) that would allow an employer to verify the status of all employees, not just new hires.
Another part of the amendment approved July 8 includes a provision from Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) which would permanently authorize the EB-5 visa program, which enables foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in the United States to secure a green card.Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano had announced earlier that day that DHS will implement a regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify, prompting a motion by Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to table the amendment as moot. The motion to table the amendment was rejected.
Status: Rep. David Price (D-N.C.) introduced the bill in the House June 16, 2009. A cloture motion on the bill has been presented in the Senate, with the latest floor actions July 8, 2009.