[JURIST] The White House announced Monday that US President George W. Bush [official profile; JURIST news archive] signed an executive order [text] Friday directing all federal departments and agencies to require government contractors to use the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) E-Verify system [DHS website; JURIST news archive] in an effort to ensure that workers meet federal immigration and work eligibility requirements. The order and amends former President Clinton's 1996 Executive Order 12989 [PDF text], which required government contractors to comply with all US immigration and nationalization laws when hiring employees for government work. This is the first time that use of the E-Verify system has been made compulsory. The New York Times has more.
The E-Verify system has been central to a number of state laws aimed at more effectively enforcing federal immigration legislation. Last week, a federal court in Oklahoma granted a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of employer-related provisions in a state immigration law [JURIST report] that required employers to verify the eligibility of their employers using the E-Verify system. In March, the governor of Rhode Island issued an executive order [JURIST report] requiring state agencies and companies doing business with the state to use the E-Verify system to verify that all employees are legal residents. In February, a federal appeals court refused to grant an emergency injunction blocking enforcement of an Arizona law [JURIST report] that requires employers to check the legal status of new hires using the E-Verify system.