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Executive Order Requiring Government Contractors to Use E-Verify

June 10, 2008

Executive Order Requiring Government Contractors to Use E-Verify is Leading by Example

(Washington DC) The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the nation's leading immigration reform advocacy organization, applauded the decision by the Bush Administration to require that all federal contractors utilize the E-Verify system to ensure that their employees are legally authorized to work in the United States.

"Employers who hire illegal aliens in violation of federal law, displacing U.S. workers and depressing wages, should not benefit from federal contracts paid for by the American public," stated Dan Stein, president of FAIR. "In signing the executive order mandating that federal contractors use the E-Verify system, the administration is leading by example."

E-Verify has been used successfully by thousands of American businesses for more than a decade to determine whether employees are legally authorized to work in the U.S. In recent years there have been disturbing revelations that the failure of contractors working for the federal government to verify employees' immigration status has resulted in illegal aliens gaining access to security sensitive sites, including airports and defense installations.

"The president's executive order uses the most effective means of persuasion available to convince employers to play by the rules," Stein said. "The federal government doles out billions of dollars in contracts every year. Businesses are now on notice that failure to use the E-Verify system could result in the forfeiture of lucrative government contracts."

Numerous state and local governments have already adopted requirements that businesses use E-Verify in order to qualify for government contracts. Those state and localities have seen decreases in their illegal alien populations.

"President Bush's executive order provides meaningful deterrents against hiring people who are in the country illegally, and real protections for companies that play by the rules. Employers now know that they cannot contract with the federal government if they fail to use E-Verify.

"This executive order signals a real commitment on the part of the federal government to hold the companies it does business with accountable. More than that, it is a nod for every state and local government and all private industry to get on board," Stein concluded.

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