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Bush: Federal Contractors Must Confirm Immigration Status of Employees

Monday, June 9, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

President Bush has signed an executive order that will require federal contractors to use an electronic system to verify that their workers are eligible to work in the United States.

Bush signed the order Friday and the White House announced the order Monday.

The order was issued because worker verification bills have essentially stalled in Congress. A Democratic immigration enforcement bill would require employers to check the citizenship and legal status of all their employees.

The issue has long been debated but has run into opposition over the years from business groups who say the E-Verify system is flawed and civil libertarians who say it will lead to discrimination and job losses by U.S. citizen workers misidentified as illegal workers.

Comprehensive immigration bills considered by Congress in 2006 and 2007 included worker verification measures. But after they failed, states began passing their own laws to keep employers from hiring undocumented workers.

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