Several business organizations, including the Associated Builders and Contractors and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are challenging the Dept. of Homeland Security’s ‘E-Verify’ system that checks employees’ immigration status. They claim in a Dec. 23 lawsuit that the Bush administration unlawfully expanded the program. A June 9 executive order and subsequent DHS proposal made the formerly voluntary E-Verify program mandatory for all companies holding federal contracts of more than $3,000. DHS later raised the threshold to $100,000, but business groups still do not like the rule. Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the Chamber’s litigation center, says federal law “explicitly prohibits”
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.