A bill in the Alabama Senate is seeking to tighten up the rules when it comes to companies screening potentially illegal workers through the federal E-Verify system.
Senate Bill 71 from Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, would require businesses with five or more employees to swear via affidavit to their usage of the E-Verify system before they could receive a city or county business license. Under the bill, the affidavit would be supplied by the Attorney General’s Office, and noncompliance would be a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
Companies already are required to use the E-Verify system under a mandate from the state’s 2011 anti-illegal immigration law. However, only 60 percent of new Alabama hires had their legal status to work confirmed by E-Verify in 2017, according to a report in Stateline, a publication of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Orr said he modeled the bill after a law in Georgia, where up to 94 percent of new workers now are screened through E-Verify. Read more.
Many Alabama employees aren’t being screened to confirm their legal status to work in the United States, despite a 2011 state law requiring businesses to use the federal E-Verity system.
A recent report in the publication Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts, said only 60 percent of new Alabama hires were screened with E-Verify in the year ending in June 2017. That’s up from 14 percent in 2011, before the state’s anti-illegal immigration law went into effect.
Now, state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, proposes requiring employers to prove their E-Verify usage before obtaining business licenses. He has a bill ready for the 2019 legislative session that mirrors a law in Georgia, where 94 percent of employees were screened through E-Verify, according to Pew.
Orr recently said there will always be bad actors who don’t follow the law, but he thinks some businesses are simply ignorant about it.
“They don’t know about the law or don’t think it applies to them,” Orr said. “Until someone is telling them or reminding them, they’ll continue to be ignorant.”