Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced today the Administration’s support for a regulation that will award federal contracts only to employers who use E-Verify to check employee work authorization. The declaration came as Secretary Napolitano announced the Department's intention to rescind the Social Security No-Match Rule in favor of the more modern and effective E-Verify system.

The Social Security No Match Rule, which has never been implemented and has been blocked by court order, would have required employers to report those workers unable to verify their immigration and Social Security status.

“E-Verify is a smart, simple and effective tool that reflects our continued commitment to working with employers to maintain a legal workforce,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Requiring those who seek federal contracts to use this system will create a more reliable and legal workforce. The rule complements our Department’s continued efforts to strengthen immigration law enforcement and protect critical employment opportunities.”

E-Verify compares information from the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) against federal government databases to verify workers’ employment eligibility. It is a free web-based system operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration. The system facilitates compliance with federal immigration laws and helps to deter unauthorized individuals from attempting to work and also helps employers avoid employing unauthorized aliens.

After a careful review, the Administration will push ahead with full implementation of the rule, which will apply to federal solicitations and contract awards Government-wide starting on September 8, 2009.