As we close out an active year of state immigration law initiatives, here is a quick update on some recent information on certain state activities:
- South Carolina – State contractors with 500 or more employees must complete special verification of newly-hired employees by using DHS’ E-Verify system or by reviewing a qualifying drivers’ license starting January 1, 2009. South Carolina employers with 100 or more employees must perform the special verification starting July 1, 2009. The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is conducting training on the South Carolina Illegal Immigration and Reform Act in December 2008 and January 2009 across the state. For more information on the new law, see Ogletree Deakins’ June 4, 2008 E-Alert.
- Arizona – Perhaps the broadest of all state laws, the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) became effective on January 1, 2008, and requires all employers within the state to use E-Verify. LAWA provides for the suspension and revocation of the business licenses of Arizona employers that knowingly employ illegal immigrants and, although there is no specific penalty for the mere failure to use E-Verify, the use of E-Verify does serve to insulate the employer from sanctions. The Arizona law has withstood a court challenge and an effort to weaken the law (Proposition 202) was voted down by Arizona voters on Election Day. Thus, the broadest state E-Verify law is still valid. Visit the September 2008 edition of the Immigration eAuthority for the last update on challenges to the Arizona law.
- Mississippi – Passed in March 2008, the Mississippi Employment Protection Act (S.B. 2988) requires employers to participate in E-Verify. On July 1, 2008, all Mississippi agencies and political subdivisions, all public contractors and private employers with 250 or more employees became subject to the E-Verify requirement. On July 1, 2009, private employers with 100 or more employees will also become subject to the requirement. For a complete review of the law, see Ogletree Deakins’ April 4, 2008 E-Alert. As we proceed through 2009, all employers, particularly multi-state employers, will need to be mindful of state and federal changes that impact immigration compliance requirements.
Note: This article was published in the December 2008 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.