E-Verify Requirement for Federal Contractors Abandoned by Obama Administration
U.S. Workers and Taxpayers Pay the Price, Charges FAIR
(June 3, 2009 - Washington, D.C.) - For the fourth time this year, implementation of an executive order requiring that all federal contractors use the E-Verify system to check worker’s eligibility has been postponed. With no rule in place, federal contractors will be accessing billions of dollars of stimulus money while having the freedom to hire illegal aliens and displace U.S. workers.
The delay provides further evidence of the Obama administration’s unwillingness to enforce U.S. immigration laws and its intent to abandon even minimal protections for American workers struggling to find jobs as the economic crisis drags on. The move belies administration promises to get tough on employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens at the expense of American workers and taxpayers.
This latest delay means that 15 months will have passed from the time former President Bush signed the executive order. During that period conditions for American workers have steadily worsened. Unemployment has risen from 5.5% in May 2008 to a 25-year high of 8.9% in April 2009, while millions more Americans are involuntarily working part-time. A total of 5.7 million U.S. jobs have disappeared since December 2007. At the same time, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports that over 112,000 employers are now using E-Verify, with 2,000 signing up for the program each week.
“Despite the need for E-Verify to protect American workers and the enormous success of the program, the administration and the Democratic congressional leadership are stubbornly ignoring a proven resource that helps prevent illegal aliens from displacing American workers,” stated Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “States understand the value of E-Verify in protecting jobs. Twelve states have made E-Verify mandatory in some capacity, yet the Obama administration refuses to extend those same protections at the federal level.”
Delaying the E-Verify regulation for federal contractors demonstrates only too clearly the Obama administration’s attempt to have it both ways when it comes to immigration enforcement. Appearing multiple times before Congress this year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has professed support for E-Verify. Yet, when it comes to implementing a regulation that has been designed to require contractors who are paid with taxpayer money to use E-Verify, the Obama administration has nothing to show except delays.
“The same administration that rushed through the most massive spending bill in history before anyone had a chance to read it claims to need months of delay to review regulations for a program that state and local governments are already using successfully,” noted Stein. “Given the magnitude of the employment crisis, and given this administration’s record of swift action, the executive order requiring that federal contractors use E-Verify should have gone into effect months ago,” Stein continued. “The fact that we are facing yet another delay demonstrates that gaining amnesty for people who broke our immigration laws remains a higher priority for President Obama than the plight of millions of unemployed Americans.”