Electronic Immigration Screening Likely to Become Widespread

Brice Wallace, Deseret News (Salt Lake City), October 22, 2008

Companies landing federal government contracts will be using it. State and local contractors in Utah will be using it. And it’s only a matter of time before all companies will be required to use it.

“It” is an electronic verification system to check workers’ employment eligibility. Designed to keep undocumented workers from getting jobs under government contracts, systems like E-Verify likely will be used by all companies in the future, according to Roger Tsai, immigration law specialist at Parsons Behle and Latimer.

“The bottom line is that I see this as actually becoming mandatory for all employers,” Tsai said Tuesday during a breakout session at the third annual Utah Procurement Symposium at the South Towne Expo Center. {snip}

Tsai said stalled federal bills that would create comprehensive immigration reform included mandatory E-Verify use for all employers.

{snip}

In June, President Bush signed an executive order directing all federal departments and agencies to require contractors, as a condition of each future federal contract, to agree to use an electronic system to verify workers’ employment eligibility. {snip}

The federal requirement is for new hires and for all employees working under a federal contract. While seeming like simply another government-mandated program, verification programs can keep employers from troubles with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, Tsai said.

{snip}

A key element of E-Verify, once called “Basic Pilot,” is that using the system provides immunity from a private discrimination lawsuit by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and employers enrolled in E-Verify are exempt from liability, investigations or lawsuits, Tsai said.

{snip}

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