E-verify immigration laws passed in several states
Alabama and Tennessee, three other southern states have introduced new immigration legislation starting in 2012. While broadly similar, there are some differences, as mentioned below. Georgia Georgia’s new immigration law, HB 87, is another broad piece of legislation that provides for state and local enforcement of immigration laws. With regards to E-Verify, HB 87 requires all private employers with ten or more employees to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. As with a few other E-Verify mandates, Georgia’s HB 87 will be implemented in stages depending on the number of full-time employees (generally those who work 35 hours or more per week) within a particular business. Effective January 1, 2012, all private employers with 500 or more employers are required to enroll in E-Verify and verify the employment eligibility of new hires. Effective July 1, 2012, all private employers with 100 or more employees but fewer than 500 employees are required to enroll in E-Verify and verify the employment eligibility of new hires. Effective July 1, 2013, all private employers with more than 10 employees but fewer than 100 employees are required to enroll in E-Verify and verify the employment eligibility of new hires. In addition, to enforce HB 87, every business will now have to submit an affidavit regarding compliance with E-Verify to its local government before that business can obtain or renew its business license or occupational tax certificate. Louisiana Louisiana passed two E-Verify related bills in 2011 governing both public and private employers. Effective January 1, 2012, Act 376 requires that private employers who bid on a public entity project or enter into a contract agreement with a public entity for the physical performance of services; confirm in a sworn affidavit that the company uses the E-Verify system for all new employees within the United States. If the employer is awarded a contract, he or she is required to E-Verify all new employees in Louisiana hired through the duration of the contract. The requirement applies to both general contractors and their subcontractors. Effective August 15, 2011, Act 402 stipulates that all Louisiana employers must confirm the citizenship or work authorization status of new hires through one of two ways. The employer may either: (1) use the E-Verify system; or (2) ensure that each employee has provided a picture ID and one of the following documents (a copy of which must also be retained): U.S. birth certificate or certified birth card; Naturalization certificate; Certificate of citizenship; Alien registration receipt card; U.S. immigration form I-94, with employment authorized stamp. Both laws include a provision stating that any employer who E-Verifies an employee who is later found to be unauthorized will not be penalized, nor will the employer be held civilly or criminally liable due to inaccurate E-Verify reports. South Carolina Meanwhile, in South Carolina, act 69 amends the South Carolina Illegal Immigration and Reform Act to require all employers to register and participate in E-Verify. Effective January 1, 2012, all employers must enroll in E-Verify to verify the legal status of all new hires within three days. There will no longer be the option of only hiring employees who possess or qualify for a South Carolina driver’s license (or other state license with similarly strict requirements) in lieu of using E-Verify. All private employers in South Carolina shall be imputed a South Carolina employment license, which can be taken away under certain circumstances. For example, a private employer who knowingly or intentionally employs an unauthorized alien violates the private employer’s license. There will be a grace period of one year for employers, during which penalties will be probationary. After that, employers can face temporary suspension of their business license for hiring unauthorized workers and reinstatement fees after those workers have been fired. On third offense, an employer’s business license can be revoked.]]>
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