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On Tuesday, January 27, 2009, the Department of Justice agreed to further delay the implementation of a final rule that would have required certain federal contractors and their subcontractors to use the E-Verify program and electronically verify the work eligibility of their newly hired and existing employees assigned to the contract. Implementation of the rule, originally set to go into effect on January 15, 2009, and then suspended until February 20, 2009, is now further suspended until May 21, 2009.

Under the agreement, any federal contracts awarded or solicitations issued prior to May 21 will not contain the E-Verify clause imposed by the rule. It is expected that announcement of the suspension will be published in Friday's edition of the Federal Register. On January 20, 2009, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments requesting that they extend for 60 days the effective date of regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but not yet taken effect, so that President Obama and his staff have an opportunity to review such regulations. Counsel on both sides of the E-Verify lawsuit requested that the Office of Management and Budget apply the memorandum to the pending E-Verify regulation.  

We will continue to provide you with the latest news as this lawsuit develops. In the meantime, it is important to remember that E-Verify participation by federal contractors will not be implemented until May 21, 2009. We encourage all of our clients to take the steps necessary to be in full compliance. Our immigration attorneys are available to explain the final rule and the E-Verify program in more detail, including how these changes may affect your business.