While Congress remains unable to agree on immigration reform, the Executive Branch has acted (see article above) and individual states continue to move forward with immigration legislation of their own. We previously noted activity in Arizona and Mississippi in the May 2008 Immigration eAuthority. Now, South Carolina has passed legislation that will eventually require employers to verify the employment authorization of all new hires by either using E-Verify or reviewing the new hire’s qualifying drivers’ license. (For a summary of the law, see the June 4 South Carolina eAuthority.) In the meantime, the lawsuit contesting the validity of the Legal Arizona Workers Act appears to be nearing a final decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In Oklahoma, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction postponing enforcement of employment-related portions of the Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 (H.B. 1804) which is scheduled to go into effect on July 1. Believing that the state law will likely be preempted by federal immigration law, Judge Robin J. Cauthron granted the injunction thus preventing enforcement of several provisions of the state law which would have required public employers and government contractors to use E-Verify to prove the legal status of all new hires. For other recent updates on state laws, see the May 5 Arizona eAuthority and April 4 Mississippi eAuthority.
Note: This article was published in the June 2008 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.