By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

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On December 3, 2014, Governor Rick Perry of Texas signed Executive Order RP 80 requiring all agencies under the direction of the governor to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of all current and prospective employees. The same order applies to all contractors and sub-contractors that have contracts for services with any agency under the direction of the governor.

One major problem with this executive order is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) prohibits employers from using its E-Verify system to verify current employees unless the employer falls under FAR E-Verify rules for certain federal contractors. I would expect Governor Perry to re-issue this order removing the requirement for current employees, in much the same manner as Governor Rick Scott of Florida did four years ago.

This Executive Order is a change in position for Governor Perry, who once said E-Verify would not "make a hill of beans difference" in preventing undocumented immigrants from working. I wonder if this change of heart has to do with preparing for another Presidential campaign and appealing to the base of the Republican Party.