Lankford Expands E-Verify for Businesses Contracting with Federal Government

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), lead Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Government Operations and Border Management, introduced a bill to expand the E-Verify system for employers who contract with the federal government to efficiently determine a worker’s legal status to work in the US. 

“Not knowing whether someone working under a federal contract is legally present and authorized to work in the US is a national security issue that needs to be fixed,” said Lankford. “Right now, nearly 1,000 migrants per day are crossing the border without being apprehended or taken into custody by Border Patrol. Jobs fuel illegal immigration across our southern border. Unless we take action now, some illegal immigrants will be paid by our federal tax dollars since Biden continues to refuse to enforce our laws. For anyone who cares about American jobs, this bill ensures hard-earned federal tax dollars are used to employ US citizens and lawful immigrants, not illegal immigrants.”

Lankford’s bill is supported by several organizations including America First Policy Institute and the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Here’s what they have to say. 

“The America First Policy Institute strongly supports efforts to ensure that Americans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars only go toward the hiring of Americans and those who have legal work authorization. Legislation that requires all federal grant recipients, federal aid recipients, and entities that contract with such recipients to use E-Verify to ensure they are employing only legal workers and not illegal aliens represents a solid step in the right direction toward a fully lawful workforce,” said Chad Wolf, Chair of the America First Policy Institute’s Center for Homeland Security and Immigration.

“Requiring federal government contractors and grantees to ensure that all of their employees are eligible to work in the United States should be something every American can agree on. As a matter of course our nation’s taxpayers should not be required to foot the bill for the employment of anyone who is not lawfully qualified for employment in the country. My colleagues and I at the Texas Public Policy Foundation applaud Senator Lankford for his leadership in advancing this common sense measure. We trust it will receive due consideration and swift approval, as this legislation not only embodies sound policy but also reflects the will of the American people, as polls consistently show that mandatory E-Verify is supported by strong majorities of voters across the entire political spectrum,” said Ken Oliver, Senior Director of Engagement & Right on Immigration at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 


President George W. Bush applied E-Verify to certain federal contractors through executive action at the end of his Administration. To date, enrollment in E-Verify is not required by law for a federal contractors and grantees. 

Currently, federal contractors, subcontractors, grantees, and entities that receive federal funding are not required to enroll in or maintain compliance with E-Verify, which means individuals who cross into the US illegally, who overstay their visas, and other illegal immigrants could be employed under federal contracts as subcontractors or other workers. This bill would expand E-Verify by requiring federal contractors, grant recipients, and organizations receiving federal assistance to enroll in and comply with E-Verify.