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Bush's order requires federal employee verification

Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, behind legislation for nearly a year

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POSTED: June 26, 2008 5:00 a.m.
After nearly a year of pushing legislation to make all federal contractors verify their employees' work eligibility, area U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, finally had his wish granted by President Bush this week.
The president issued an executive order Monday requiring all civilian companies doing business with the federal government to confirm that all workers are authorized to work in the United States.
Bush's amendment to Executive Order 12989 requires the U.S. government to award contracts for work on federal installations "only with providers that do not knowingly employ unauthorized alien workers and that have agreed to utilize an electronic employment verification system."
The president has directed departments and agencies that enter into contracts shall require, as a condition of each contract, that the contractor agree to use the Employment Eligibility Verification System, an electronic employment eligibility verification system designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security to verify employment eligibility.
Kingston, who has been pushing for such a requirement since last summer, said the verification system is easy to use and comes at little cost to contractors.
"It is a simple process, just like a background check to buy a gun," the congressman said. "The e-verify system allows contractors to call a number or go online and match the employee's name with government databases. It takes just a few minutes to verify if that person is a U.S. citizen or is authorized to work in this country."
Kingston added he is "glad the administration has realized that this is a national security issue as well as an immigration issue" and hopes the federal government will become a model for private employers.
"How can the government hire people who hire illegals?" Kingston asked. "We should have a higher bar and set an example for the private sector."
 

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