Will More States Pass E-Verify Legislation? - Articles

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Posted by: Christy Gibson on Jan 22, 2013

Bruce E. Buchanan*

In the aftermath of the November 2012 elections, most immigration law pundits are focused on the increased chances for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) to pass Congress. But another area to consider is whether more states will pass E-Verify legislation. Obviously, this will be impacted on whether mandatory E-Verify is included in CIR. A second consideration is the strong majorities that Republicans hold in many state legislatures.

Currently, 7 states, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah, require all employers to utilize E-Verify while Tennessee and Louisiana make the use of E-Verify advantageous for employers but not mandatory. Nine states, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia require employers contracting with state and/or local government to utilize E-Verify.

What states might pass E-Verify legislation or expand it to include all employers in 2013? Republicans in Tennessee now have a super majority in both the House and Senate so one can expect an effort to pass new legislation making the use of E-Verify mandatory. Arkansas is a likely candidate due to the fact that Republicans took over both chambers of the legislature. Kansas came close in 2012 to passing E-Verify legislation and it is likely to be a topic in the 2013 legislature though the political makeup of the legislature remained about the same. There are other states, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota, where the Republicans continue to hold significant majorities. However, it is unclear whether any of these states will pass E-Verify legislation or expand E-Verify legislation.

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Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C.  He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on employer immigration compliance, as well as employers in employment/labor law matters. Mr. Buchanan writes a blog on employer immigration compliance located at http://blogs.ilw.com/immigrationcompliance/ and is a contributor toThe I-9 and E-Verify Blog (http://www.lawlogix.com/electronic-i9/) and Employment Law Strategist. He may be reached at bbuchanan@visalaw.com or (615) 345-0266.