Timeline of E-Verify at Northwestern University

updated on occasion by Jackie Stevens, Professor, Political Science and Legal Studies, Founding Director, Deportation Research Clinic, Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, Northwestern University; Secretary,  NU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, sign up here!

"E-Verify" began as a voluntary, pilot program to assist any U.S. employer in documenting the legal authorization of their employees to work.  Thereafter, some states mandated E-Verify for certain types of firms or contracts. However, Illinois in 2007 responded to widespread reports of errors and privacy concerns by passing a law prohibiting firms from using E-Verify.  In late 2009, the federal government announced it would require E-Verify be used by firms with federal contracts, but expressly allowed certain organizations, including universities,to enroll only those directly paid by federal contracts.  In 2010, Northwestern University, one of Illinois's largest employers, implemented E-Verify in a fashion that was at odds with 99% of other universities and signed up all of its employees, including student research assistants.  The administration continues to change the facts and policy statements about the origins of the program at NU and its continued campus-wide use of E-Verify. 

Why implement and maintain a policy that was opposed by other research universities, exposes NU to litigation, harms the NU bottom line, wastes the time of employees and students, puts all our personal information at risk, puts at special risk families of DACA students, who are legally authorized to work, and, ironically, jeopardizes federal contracts?  There is one group that had the network and means to implement this unusual practice, was touted by the leader of DHS for supporting E-Verify even before the mandatory roll out, and whose interests align with the outcome described below: NU's investor syndicate, especially the General Dynamics crew, with several current and former officers and directors from its small board at NU's helm. 

There are approximately eight million corporations and LLCs that file tax returns.  In November, 2009, shortly after the mandate for companies with federal contracts, ICE issued a press release singling out 18 firms for their early adoption and participation at an E-Verify symposium.  General Dynamics and Fragomen, Del Ray, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, the firm NU hired as its E-Verify agent and that started to enroll all employees, both are on ICE's list.  General Dynamics has substantial contracts with several Homeland Security components, including the one that handles E-Verify and last year bought a major vendor of information technology to the federal government. "The deal turns General Dynamics into a $9.9 billion-a-year behemouth in government IT services, making it the second largest firm in that sector..." according to the Washington Post.  General Dynamics' founding family, the Crowns, and GD's officers and directors have dominated NU's Board for decades. (This article explains how Saudis are using GD cluster bombs to kill and maim Yemeni children by the thousands. The bosses behind Northwestern make the Sacklers look like Girl Scouts.)

NU's then General Counsel Philip Harris in 2018 in writing stated NU was not legally obligated to enroll those not on federal contracts (see below).  Pamela Beemer, Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer, now claims NU "has been advised that its E-Verify enrollment is irrevocable until the University no longer has active Federal contracts with the FAR E-Verify clause."  But this advice was from and to parties that had stakes in maintaining NU's overinclusive participation, not a federal judge.  In many other situations, indeed with E-Verify itself, NU flagrantly violates the letter of the law or goes to court.

Consider how NU chose to burnish its tawdry liberal credentials by
joining other campuses signing an amicus brief in litigation seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from the Trump Executive Order known as the Muslim Travel Ban.  NU didn't write lame emails saying that they had to accept the policy because the President said so, even though a Presidential Executive Order has far more legal weight than any alleged non-specific statement by an unknown USCIS employee (or private contractor) for an analysis that is at best ambiguous and not authorized for public release.

The gang running NU has over the past few decades pursued appeals and litigation to:
avoid property taxes on land used for unrelated business income -- from NU investor-related deals with Pepsi and Nabisco on land the firms sold NU and then leased back (NU lost in the circuit court, then won 2-1 in state appellate court); dredge up information on Chicago campus whistle blowers reporting billing problems and mistreatment of NU laboratory animals (judge denied NU request for attorney fees to law firm that is part of the NU investor syndicate, stating NU failed to show NU's acquisition of the documents was in the public interest); defend the right of firms to retaliate against whistleblowers by not renewing contracts for reporting billing improprieties and mistreatment of animals; and recently NU appealed National Labor Relations Board decisions to kill separate unionization drives by NU's football team and non-tenured faculty, to name just a few positions taken by the profiteers who have infiltrated as "trustees" from firms such as Abbott Laboratories, Aon, Boeing, Caterpillar, General Dynamics, Halliburton, and Material Services. In short, if NU's attorneys had bosses who really wanted to stop turning over NU employee data to Homeland Security, NU would simply stop doing so; or, if in genuine doubt as to the legality of this -- the evidence suggests otherwise -- draft a motion for declaratory relief, stating that forcing an institution of higher education to enroll everyone violates the letter of the regulation and the MOU and file it in federal court. The worst that would happen is they would lose.


There is no mandatory program requiring electronic submissions by employers with federal contracts, only a Pilot Program that is voluntary: "the Secretary of Homeland Security may not require any person or other entity to participate in a pilot program." 8 U.S.C. 1324a note, Section 402a.

August 13 - Governor Rod Blagojevich, Illinois, signed into law H.B. 1744, an act amending the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act, 820 Ill. Comp. Stat. 55/1, to become effective January 1, 2008. 
The Act expressly prohibited all Illinois employers from enrolling in E-Verify. (See sections of current law struck after litigation.)

September 25 - The United States government files a lawsuit in federal court in the Seventh Circuit (Central District, Springfield, Illinois), seeking a judge to declare invalid Section 12 of the Illinois Act prohibiting employers from using E-Verify.

December 13 - Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff updates status of DHS lawsuit against Illinois.

In September, we filed a lawsuit in federal court to declare invalid an Illinois statute that effectively forbids Illinois employers from enrolling in the department’s E-Verify system. The statute was to become effective on
January 1, 2008, but in papers filed with the court yesterday, the state agreed not to enforce it until the department’s lawsuit against the state is resolved.

June 11 - President Bush signs Executive Order 13465, requiring employers with federal contracts to use Department of Homeland Security electronic databases for verification of their employees:

It is the policy of the executive branch in procuring goods and services that, to ensure the economical and efficient administration and completion of Federal Government contracts, contracting agencies may not enter into contracts with employers that do not use the best available means to confirm the work authorization of their workforce...

Executive departments and agencies that enter into contracts shall require, as a condition of each contract, that the contractor agree to use an electronic employment eligibility verification system designated by the Secretary of Homeland Security to verify the employment eligibility of: (i) all persons hired during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within the United States; and (ii) all persons assigned by the contractor to perform work within the United States on the Federal contract.

The authority of the Executive Order is not based on immigration statutes, but the President's authority to oversee federal procurement.  The E.O. provides no evidence that a large number of people working without legal authority has adversely affected a single contract. 

June 12 to August 11 - Agencies create a "Council" to implement Executive Order by creating new regulation for federal contracts.  Solicit comments from the public.  Here are the comments from universities. All oppose E-Verify.

4. Institutions of Higher Education; State and Local Governments and Governments of Federally Recognized Indian Tribes; and Sureties a. Institutions of Higher Education Comment: Seven universities and two associations opposed the application of the rule to educational institutions. In general, the universities supported efforts to encourage improvements to compliance with requirements to demonstrate work authorization and citizenship, but recommend an exemption for research and higher education institutions, arguing that the rule would impose an unnecessary financial and administrative burden. The commenting associations predicted that including academic institutions within the scope of this rule would place stress on the E-Verify system. The several commenters emphasized various aspects of the interrelated problems that universities face, as follows:

•One of the largest universities contended that E-Verify is difficult to use and that the proposed rule underestimates the time and resources required by an organization of its size to implement E-Verify, and its impact on U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
•Another university described its use of a ‘‘sponsored pool accounting system’’ to facilitate frequent changes in researchers’ and staff members’ funding sources, and how its separation of contract administration and human resources processes complicates E- Verify’s clearance procedure.
•Another university that employs a large number of foreign nationals claimed to have a strong program to monitor work authorizations. It stated that the added procedural burden on the university and its employees will hamper its ability to attract highly sought foreign nationals, impacting the quality of its research programs.
•Another estimated that modifying its existing employment eligibility monitoring system to comply with the proposed 3-day clearance requirement would cost $1 million because new processes would need to be implemented outside the payroll system it currently uses. In addition, the commenter claimed that employee relations issues would be a major impact, and notes that Federal contracts are only 2 percent of its business.
•Another university described universities as low-risk employers because their international population is already subject to oversight through the Federal visa approval processes and their own internal recruitment and other mechanisms.
•Another university was most explicit about the other internal mechanisms that reduce the vulnerability of educational institutions to immigration violations. According to this comment, research organizations operate in an environment of strict regulation and control, including export control and intellectual property as well as immigration and employment requirements. These contribute to their high level of regulatory compliance and they rarely encounter problems with document fraud or with employees lacking proper documentation of their employment authorization.
•Another university also recommended exempting universities from the proposed contract term, but also expressed concerns about the impact on grants and cooperative agreements as well. (Grants and cooperative agreements are not covered by FAR, so the requirements do not in fact apply.)
•One association cited, as an example of potential stress on the E- Verify system’s resources, the fact that the University of California employs approximately 170,000 faculty and staff. The demand on system resources at a university is subject to annual spikes at the beginning of the academic terms, according to another association. Association commenters were also concerned about the potential impact of this rule on international personnel at colleges and universities who face delays in securing SSNs. Its members report that many international employees were incorrectly denied SSNs by the SSA. According to these commenters, many who eventually received SSNs did so only after repeated interventions by institutions and after a process that took, in many cases, several months. These delays may be as long as some student workers or staff members are employed by the institution. Such individuals can be employed in a range of positions, from short-term work-study jobs in smaller offices to long-term research projects in large laboratories. The commenters claimed that delays resulting from E-Verify use could jeopardize both the individuals and employers

Response: The Councils do not find the comments about value, accuracy, or capacity of the E-Verify system to be bases to exempt educational institutions from the rule, for reasons addressed elsewhere in this final rule. Moreover, other Government contractors also attract a foreign talent base that supports U.S. science and technology capabilities. However, the Councils recognize that coverage of a large number of educational institutions was not anticipated in the proposed rule. These entities have a large number of students with intermittent employment, which may complicate these institutions’ efforts to comply with E-Verify requirements. Most Federal funding of universities is in the form of Federal grants, and there are relatively few Federal contracts, but under the proposed rule, a single contract could be sufficient to require an entire university to use E-Verify for all its new hires. The Councils are also concerned that including universities under this broad rule may increase incentives for academic institutions to insist on grant funding rather than agreeing to enter into contracts. This would increase costs and performance risks to the Federal Government. Accordingly, the Councils have reduced the burden on institutions of higher education by revising the applicability of the E-Verify requirements to cover only those employees assigned to a Government contract. In order to focus this exception, it is limited to institutions of higher education as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a).
Federal  Register/ Vol.  73,  No.  221 / Friday,  November  14,  2008, 67681 - 67682

35. Comment: A commenter from an institution of higher education expected that most rejections will involve non- immigrant post-doctoral associates and fellows who have already undergone careful scrutiny in obtaining a visa to enter the United States. Response: The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IIRCA) requires all employers to verify the identity and work authorization of any employee working in the U.S. by having the employee complete a Form I–9. While nonimmigrant post-doctoral associates and fellows have already obtained a visa to enter the U.S., this does not alleviate the employer of its responsibility under IRCA. In addition, the fact that an alien has been issued a visa has nothing directly to do with whether the alien is work-authorized in the United States, as millions of aliens who are issued visas and admitted to the United States in B, F or certain other nonimmigrant categories are not authorized to be employed in this country. 
--Federal  Register/ Vol.  73,  No.  221 / Friday,  November  14,  2008 / Rules  and  Regulations, 67695

November 14 - Regulation and background for roll-out of "E-Verify" for all federal contracts, beginning January 15, 2009.  (FAC 2005–29, FAR case 2007–013.)

The E-Verify system, formerly known as the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program, is an Internet-based system operated by DHS USCIS, in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

The regulation and comment responses are from the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council (Councils).
Implementation is tied to Federal Acquisitions Regulations System (FARS). http://govfar.com/

Commentors object that the roll-out violates 8 U.S.C. 1324a, prohibiting the DHS from requiring a person or entity to participate in the verification of an employee's immigration or work status.  DHS responds:

Because the requirement to insert the contract clause set forth in this rule comes from a presidential action, Executive Order 12989, as amended, and from this rulemaking undertaken by the Councils, it is not a requirement imposed by the Secretary of Homeland Security and therefore does not run afoul of section 402(a) of IIRIRA  (emphasis added).

Sometime in 2008, as numerous peer institutions are objecting to E-Verify, NU informs faculty that it has decided to implement E-Verify for all current and new employees.  This requires everyone to submit personal information to NU for input  into a Department of Homeland Security database.  No federal or state law obligated this campus-wide enrollment, nor did any faculty body approve it. Peer institutions in Illinois and nationwide were and are using E-Verify only for employees  directly paid by a federal grant or contract.  Here is a link to the federal regulation for the program, 48 CFR 22.18

Glossary for E-Verify.

January 6 - NU signs the first MOU with USCIS for its participation in E-Verify, even though the regulation obligates universities to use E-Verify only on federal contracts awarded after September 8, 2009, nine months later. NU does not register a single person until over a year later.  The delay falsifies one of NU's shifting claims - which is that it signed up because of flood damage to the paper I-9 forms.  The flood appears to have been in 2006.  There is no legal liability for employers if their existing work force has its documents destroyed by an act of nature and if NU really wanted to be conscientious it would have immediately enrolled people and not waited a year.

There is no formal review by faculty governing body.  Human Resources and administrators made statements to concerned faculty falsely claiming they were required to enroll everyone. (Current NU Faculty Senate was being formed and predecessor "General Faculty Committee" did not act on their concerns.)  Other universities were still meeting and exploring options through the following summer.  E.g., University of California, Davis, August 2009 has Powerpoint noting delays in implementation and exemption for employees not on federal contracts.

March 9 - Federal district court judge declares Illinois law banning E-Verify invalid and permanently enjoins Illinois from enforcing the act prohibiting E-Verify for federal contracts. 

May - NU's first MOU expires.  No one has been registered.

May 22 - Privacy Impact Assessment for the Compliance Tracking and Management System (with E-Verify)

December - Report contracted by the Department of Homeland Security revealing numerous problems with the accuracy of the E-Verify program.  (338 pp.)

January 1, Illinois implements new law with extra safeguards for E-Verify.   E-Verify is allowed for federal contracts because a federal district court ruled the federal government policy could not be revoked by the state government, but the state legislature remained on the record as stating E-Verify is inconsistent with Illinois state policy.

 Neither the State nor any of its political subdivisions, nor any unit of local government, including a home rule unit, may require any employer to use an Employment Eligibility Verification System, including under the following circumstances:
        (1) as a condition of receiving a government contract;
        (2) as a condition of receiving a business license; or
        (3) as penalty for violating licensing or other  similar laws.
    This subsection (d) is a denial and limitation of home rule powers and functions under subsection (h) of Section 6 of Article VII of the Illinois Constitution.
(Source: P.A. 95-138, eff. 1-1-08; 96-623, eff. 1-1-10; 96-1000, eff. 7-2-10.)

Nontheless, while University of Chicago, De Paul, Loyola, and all over research universities in Illinois enroll only those directly paid by federal contracts, NU begins its unnecessary university-wide employee enrollment. Over 21,000 people enrolled in nine months.  The University claims the university-wide enrollment is necessary to "comply with federal contractor regulation."  But the regulation specifically exempts universities from compliance with the exception of those whose employment is tied to a specific federal contract.  Here's the explanation on NU's website now:

Northwestern's Participation in the E-Verify Program

Northwestern enrolled in the E-Verify program to comply with the federal contractor regulation. Northwestern University is a research institution and non-compliance with this program could result in suspending or debarring of federal contracts. Northwestern began using E-Verify and electronic I-9s on January 26, 2010. As of that date, paper I-9s are no longer accepted by the university for any new hires.

The truth, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is that the vast majority of NU's employees were never required to enroll

4.0 CERTAIN ORGANIZATIONS THAT QUALIFY FOR EXCEPTIONS The E-Verify federal contractor rule generally requires use of E-Verify for all new employees, regardless of whether they are assigned to a federal contract. However, the following organizations awarded a federal contract that includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause are only required to use E-Verify for new hires and existing non-exempt employees who are working directly under a covered contract: • State and local governments • Institutions of higher education (as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a)) • Governments of federally recognized Indian tribes • Sureties performing under a takeover agreement entered into with a federal agency under a performance bond Example: A city government has a federal contract that includes the FAR E-Verify clause. After the E-Verify federal contractor rule implementation date, it hired Doris to work on a contract containing the FAR E-Verify clause and hired Frank to work on a project that is not part of a federal contract. The city government need only verify new and existing employees assigned to a qualifying federal contract. Therefore, the city government must use E-Verify to verify Doris, but is not required to verify Frank. The city is not required to verify anyone else on the staff not working on the federal contract, but may choose to verify the entire staff (except for those employees who are exempt).
(From USCIS E-Verify Guide to Federal Contractor Compliance p. 18, emphasis added).  

For more on other information withheld or misstated to NU employees, about the management of employee retirement funds, please go here.

None of the Memorandums of Understanding NU signed state that NU must submit documents for all employees to USCIS
.  They all include language stating that obligations are different for institutions of higher education.

Here's how the exception above is given force in NU's MOU.

11. The Employer must use E-Verify for all new employees. The Employer will not verify selectively and will not verify employees hired before the effective date of this MOU. Employers who are Federal contractors may qualify for exceptions to this requirement as described in Article II.B of this MOU.

From "Article II..B" Responsibilities of Federal Contractors. 
Section 2 refers to the "Policy" for different types of contractors.  Here is the "exception" in the MOU referenced above:

2 (c). Federal contractors that are institutions of higher education (as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a)), state or local governments, governments of Federally recognized Indian tribes, or sureties performing under a takeover agreement entered into with a Federal agency under a performance bond may choose to only verify new and existing employees assigned to the Federal contract. Such Federal contractors may, however, elect to verify all new hires, and/or all existing employees hired after November 6, 1986. Employers in this category must begin verification of employees assigned to the contract within 90 calendar days after the date of enrollment or within 30 days of an employee's assignment to the contract, whichever date is later.

The MOU says that Federal contractors "may" elect to verify all new hires.  No language  here or elsewhere in the MOU obligates employers who elect to verify all new hires under this exception to do so in perpetuity.  Interim General Counsel Stephanie Graham has disregarded several requests to point to any language that falsifies this observation, not to mention the observation of NU's former General Counsel Philip Harris in an email of April 25, 2018 asserting the same point. 

The MOU does not state that NU will be enrolling all new hires.  The MOU tracks the langauge of the federal regulation, which exempts from E-Verify employees not directly working on federal contracts.

There is a separate clause, 2 (d) that applies to Employers who are not exempt under 2 (d).  That clause states:

Upon enrollment, Employers who are Federal contractors may elect to verify employment eligibility of all existing employees working in the United States who were hired after November 6, 1986, instead of verifying only those employees assigned to a covered Federal contract. After enrollment, Employers must elect to verify existing staff following DHS procedures and begin E-Verify verification of all existing employees within 180 days after the election.

Moreover, NU has flagrantly violated specific E-Verify MOU requirements and also the Illinois state law on E-Verify participation. Thus, NU's claims to care about its contracts and following the law as the rationale for ongoing enrollment of NU employees not on federal contracts are not credible. 
Here are some examples:

1)  E-Verify Notices Not Displayed
The first requirement of the USCIS MOU is to display its E-Verify participation:

The Employer agrees to display the following notices supplied by DHS in a prominent place that is clearly visible to prospective employees and all employees who are to be verified through the system:
a. Notice of E-Verify Participation
b. Notice of Right to Work

Illinois also requires this:

c) It is a violation of this Act for an employer enrolled in an Employment Eligibility Verification System, including the E-Verify program and the Basic Pilot program:
        (1) to fail to display the notices supplied by DHS and OSC in a prominent place that is clearly visible to both prospective and current employees;

NU does not do this.  (They don't display any worker rights or safety notices.)  Not a single student, staff, or faculty member in the Political Science Department has seen these notices in our Department.  Students and colleagues in other departments also state they are not displayed.  Illinois requires someone to attest that this has happened.  What NU official stated this as happening when it is not? 

2)  The MOU also obligates NU to inform USCIS if it employs people after a final notice of nonconfirmation and close all cases.

 (3) If the Employer receives a final nonconfirmation for an employee, but continues to employ that person, the Employer must notify DHS and the Employer is subject to a civil money penalty between $550 and $1,100 for each failure to notify DHS of continued employment following a final nonconfirmation;...

The E-Verify Manual states: "To properly complete the E-Verify process, employers must close every case they create, except for cases that result in Employment Authorized, which E-Verify will automatically close."

Of the 76,173 cases submitted between January 2010 to May, 2018, NU had 1,568 cases that were "unresolved or in process," just over 2%, in violation of E-Verify policy, according to USCIS released to Stevens responsive to her request under the Freedom of Information Act.

As of Spring, 2018, NU showed between 125 and 311 cases not closed each year.
148 cases of “DHS no show”
15 cases of “DHS final non-confirmation”
26 cases of “SSA no show”
6 cases of “SSA final non-confirmation”

"No shows" are people who are notified of a discrepancy and say they will appear in the office of DHS or Social Security but, according to the government, do not appear. 

Furthermore, the records released show that NU did not begin to enroll employees in E-Verify until January 10, 2010, several months after its first MOU expired. According to FAR, E-Verify only applies to contracts  awarded on or  after  September  8,  2009.  In other words, NU took the then unnecessary effort of signing an MOU and then ignored it. 

January 20
National Association of College and University Attorneys issues report, "E-Verify: Compliance for University and Federal Contractors."  Note that NU begins signing up all of its employees before the professional association for university attorneys has even put out its advisals.  Why the hurry?

Northwestern mandates graduate students who receive stipends to register through E-Verify
Peer institutions, including University of Chicago, continue not to require their students register with Homeland Security through E-Verify unless obligated by a specific federal grant or contract.

2016 to April, 2018
President Schapiro and other NU officers disregard requests from faculty and students to end E-Verify campus-wide, continue to insist they must do this because they have federal contracts.  

November 14, 2016
NU faculty, staff and students send letter to President Schapiro, then-Provost Daniel Linzer, Vice President for Student Affairs Patricia Telles-Irvin, and Philip Harris, Vice President and General Counsel, requesting Northwestern University provide sanctuary to undocumented students, workers, and their families and requesting that NU not report student citizenship status to the federal government.

November 18, 2016
In wake of NU announcing commitment to undocumented students, Director of Deportation Research Clinic publishes letter in Daily Northwestern asking President Schapiro to end campus-wide use of E-Verify.

May 16, 2017
Students take direct action in response to on-campus presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement public relations officer.

May 25, 2017
Coalition of Students for Immigrant Justice release listof
in response to University's statement 
condemning May 16 student action and University's failure to support  undocumented members of campus community and students of color.  Among the demands is to halt NU's voluntary participation in E-Verify.

April 24, 2018
Students Organizing for Labor Rights sends NU President
petition signed by over 1,000 Northwestern students demanding protections of NU workers during transition to Compass as new food services vendor, including not requiring their employees to use E-Verify and for NU to end E-Verify campus-wide.

April 25, 2018

Students Organizing for Labor Rights and Professor Jacqueline Stevens meet with General Counsel Philip Harris and Deputy General Counsel Stephanie Graham. Harris agrees that NU must use E-Verify only for those employed directly by federal grants and contracts. In an email following the meeting he writes: "We made it clear that the OGC will not be making decisions here and that the only apparent legal issue is not in dispute: i.e., E-Verify is only legally required for federal grants and contracts."   Parties agree that Student Affairs and Human Resources will follow up.  Graham is copied on the email and does not dispute Harris's statement.

May 3, 2018
Letter to Northwestern Daily from students on hypocrisy in statements by Provost Holloway on university's co-optation of Bursar's Office Takeover, students demand action.

May 7, 2018
Faculty Senate Executive Committee sends resolution for NU to end campus-wide enrollment to Committee on Social Responsibility for study and recommendation.

May 17, 2018
Student activists from Black Lives Matter NU, Latinx Asian American Collective, and Students Organizing for Labor Rights meet with Provost Holloway.  Provost Holloway states that on May 14 General Counsel Philip Harris informed administrators that ending E-Verify campus-wide is possible only after all of the university's current federal contracts expire and that the University likely does not have a collected record of all of its federal contracts.
 The inconsistency with plain text of regulation and previous statement by General Counsel Harris on April 25 are not explained.  No explanation is provided as to why NU is seemingly unable to enroll in E-Verify only those working directly on federal grants or contracts, while peer institutions have been doing this for years.

May 20, 2018
Chief Human Resource Officer Pamela Beemer in e-mail reiterates analysis Provost Holloway shared with students and provides list of other universities that use E-Verify campus-wide.  However, 10 out of the 12 are in states that obligate employers participate in E-Verify, such as Arizona. (The two remaining are Ohio State University and University of Maryland.) Unike Arizona, for instance, Illinois public policy disfavors use of E-Verify.  NU has claimed it supports DACA students and joined other universities filing amicus briefs to preserve their legal status.  President Schapiro and Provost Holloway continue to authorize a program that NU's own legal staff have acknowledged puts DACA students at great risk.   

May 23, 2018
General Counsel Philip Harris sends pdf from USCIS "E-Verify Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors."  Harris writes "...once an employer elects to verify its entire workforce, and has begun verifying existing employees, it is not permitted to change its selection during the duration of the federal contract."  

Harris mischaracterizes Guide.  Advisal is specific to "a company," or "your company," not "employer."  
NU, according to the regulation, is an "institution of higher education" not a "company."  
The regulation does not exempt "companies," but it does exempt "a State or local government or the Government of a federally recognized Indian tribe." And, of course, the regulation exempts "institutions of higher education."  (Further, in the case of any conflict between a regulation and ad hoc guides that have not gone through a rule-making process, the plain text of the regulation prevails.)  

Harris alleges that "Timeline of E-Verify at Northwestern University" mischaracterizes the status of E-Verify laws in states with universities referenced by Ms. Beemer.  Here are the links to the laws on which the claims were based: List of the universities using E-Verify campus-wide provided by Pam Beemer, NU Vice-President, Chief Human Resources Officer, along with links to relevant state laws for claims on Timeline (May 20, 2018). 

Harris also claimed in his e-mail that NU started E-Verify because of  "strategic goal of increasing [University's] federal research funding, by demonstrating that it was a company with a legal workforce."  

According to information online, six of eight Ivy League universities with esteemed research profiles and major recipients of federal research funding do not use E-Verify campus-wide. 

Stevens in email asks Harris for copies of Memorandums of Understanding between NU and USCIS for the implementation and renewals of E-Verify.  
Stevens affirms accuracy of other information in Timeline based on notes by students who attended meetings with administrators, including April 25.

May 24, 2018
Harris does not provide additional information requested, including Memorandums of Understanding. Harris writes: "I believe that ample information has been provided."

October 22, 2018
Stevens releases the Memorandums of Understanding Harris wanted to keep secret, obtained after FOIA litigation.  
They confirm that NU can withdraw campus workforce not on federal grants after 30 day notice.  (An additional five pages of Excel sheets also were to be released and were not included by error.  USCIS is now sending them and they will be added when received.)

Stevens also releases USCIS spreadsheet revealing Northwestern among the fewer than 1% of certificate or degree granting institutions that signed MOUs to participate in E-Verify campuswide.  

February 4 - "NU Leaders Endanger Students, Employees through E-Verify,"  Letter to Northwestern Daily from SOLR, AAUP Executive Committee,  NU-Graduate Student Union

May report to Faculty Senate -
The Faculty Senate Committee on Social Responsibility reviewed NU's E-Verify policy.  No recommendation to end NU campus-wide E-Verify.
Misleading information sent by Pam Beemer to members of the Faculty Senate Committee on Social Responsibility, quoting a portion of a written text purportedly sent from USCIS that indicated NU it had to continue to sign up all new employees.   (USCIS contracts out much of its work and it is not clear that the boilerplate statement Beemer references is either relevant to NU's MOU or is an authorized response from a government employee for public release; the MOU prohibits employers from making any public representations about DHS statements on their E-Verify policies "without prior written consent from DHS" and the nature of the langauge quoted suggests this was not provided.)

Further, Beemer never explained the process that NU claims is behind its refusal to stop using E-Verify campuswide.  An employer does not commit an E-Verify violation and then immediately become suspended.  If it did,why aren't NU and thousands of other firms not in compliance still filling federal contracts?
Indeed, the stated rationale for E-Verify in the Bush E.O., and reiterated in the Councils' text explanatory to the regulation, is to support efficient government. 
Any severance of contracts would affect the federal government and its partners as much as it would hurt NU and undermine the stated policy goals of E-Verify.
Here is a link to the debarment policies across agencies.