POSTED BY Christine Mehfoud
E-Verify Required: 17 States and Counting STATES WITH E-VERIFY REQUIREMENTS
suit and mandated E-Verify participation for certain private employers. E-Verify is a "free" and "voluntary" Internet-based system operated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in partnership with the Social Security Administration, which employers can use to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Although there is no direct cost imposed by the government on employers for participating in E-Verify, the system's requirements add significant administrative costs for participants. Participation in E-Verify is still considered "voluntary,
s predicted in my May 2011 blog on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding Arizona's E-Verify mandate, several states have followed
but many employers are now required to participate as a result of their federal contracts or mandates by the states within which they employ workers.
Immigration Chatter Around the Web
Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah require certain private employers to participate in E-Verify.
States Run Amuck As of December 7, 2011, 42 states and Puerto Rico
had enacted more than 300 new immigration-related laws or resolutions. Of most importance to employers and businesses are the states that enacted laws regarding E-Verify participation. At the start of 2012, E-Verify requirements for private employers became effective in Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee, and all employers in Alabama must implement E-Verify by April 1, 2012. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 17 states now require E-Verify for public or private employers. While this list will not remain current for long,
employers operating in at least the following states should pay attention to state E-Verify requirements: Alabama (2011); Arizona; Colorado; Florida (2011); Georgia (2011); Idaho; Indiana (2011); Louisiana (2011); Mississippi; Missouri; Nebraska; North Carolina (2011); Oklahoma; South Carolina (2011); Tennessee (2011); Utah (2011); and Virginia (2011). While many of these states impose E-Verify
requirements on state agencies and public contractors only, by my count, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia,
Some States Still Holding Out A few states are moving in the opposite direction. In 2011, Rhode Island rescinded a 2008 executive order requiring use of E-Verify, and California passed a law prohibiting all states and localities from mandating the use of E-Verify—except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds. Unfortunately for employers, this piecemeal
implementation of immigration-related requirements means that many companies will have almost as many immigration-related policies and procedures as there are states with E-Verify mandates. Throw in federal contracts and private contract E-Verify mandates, and the number of different procedures applicable to one company quickly becomes unruly. Companies operating in multiple states need to become familiar with the nuances of each of those state's E-Verify mandates and develop procedures accordingly.
Christine Mehfoud is a lawyer with McGuireWoods LLP, and maintains a blog on immigration enforcement issues via Subject to Inquiry. The author's views do not necessarily represent the views of AILA nor do they constitute legal advice or representation.
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