North Carolina businesses get flexibility with E-Verify

E-Verify, and it’s supposed to prevent illegal immigrants from getting jobs. But there is an exemption stating that seasonal, temporary employees don’t have to be cleared through that system in North Carolina, so long as they work fewer than three months a year. It’s claimed this helps farmers, who N.C. Farm Bureau President Larry Wooten said have a hard time finding enough qualified U.S. citizens to work in their fields. “We did a survey of about 600 farms in North Carolina back earlier in the year, and a large majority of those farms certainly had problems securing enough labor,” Wooten said. He suggested that even the three-month exemption to the E-Verify program is not be sufficient because many seasonal workers get here in March and stay through October. So – North Carolina lawmakers expanded the exemption to cover anyone working fewer than 9 months a year. Representative Harry Warren of Rowan County was a primary sponsor. “This is just another relaxation of a regulatory requirement for agriculture, which is by far the largest business we’ve got in this state, doing $74 to $77 billion a year,” Warren said. The bill does not authorize employers to hire anyone here illegally, he suggested; there are already laws against that. The exemption goes beyond farming though, and also extends to construction companies, retail stores and other businesses can use it. The new exemption goes into effect immediately.]]>

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