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I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

Where is E-Verify headed in State Legislatures?

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States and local governments have been passing E-Verify legislation requiring all employers or employers contracting with state and/or local government to use E-Verify.  The question which this post and further posts will discuss is whether state and local governments will continue to pass E-Verify legislation or has the trend slowed down.


Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature failed to agree on passage of mandatory E-Verify legislation. This appears to be an affront to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has been a proponent and/or author of much state immigration legislation throughout the U.S.


In Tennessee, it was widely believed the legislature would likely amend the non-mandatory E-Verify bill, which was passed in 2011, which stated private employers can either signup for E-Verify and receive protection under state law or copy and maintain one of the specified identification documents. The amendment would require E-Verify use to be mandatory. However, the Tea Party forces in the legislature could not overcome Republican Governor Bill Haslam and Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell's opposition, which was based upon the need to keep the legislative session focused on the economy, not on social issues. Thus, there was never even a vote to amend the E-Verify law. 


In the last few years, the following states have required employers within their state to utilize E-Verify for newly-hired employees: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah.   These states require employers who contract with state and/or local government to utilize E-Verify: Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.  Two states, Louisiana and Tennessee, have "non-mandatory" E-Verify requirements.  On the other hand, California prohibits local governments from requiring the use of E-Verify.


Which way will other states go? In at least 15 states, E-Verify legislation has been introduced in their state legislatures. But, will it die like it did in Kansas and Tennessee or will it pass, like Alabama and Georgia. Time will tell and I'll get you informed on these developments.

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