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 DHS secretary from making E-Verify mandatory.