This week saw Alabama governor Robert Bentley sign one of the toughest immigration laws in the country. The 72-page legislation known as HB 56 also touches on issues as diverse as contract law and voter registration. It makes Alabama the fourth state, after Georgia, Utah and Indiana, to follow Arizona’s lead in enacting significant statewide immigration laws, potentially mollifying those voters frustrated with Washington’s perceived failure to deal with the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the U.S. Some opponents of the bill say that if passed the legislation will do little more than promote racial profiling and harm foreign investment and tourism in Alabama.
Under the law, police may detain anyone they think is suspicious and cannot produce relevant documents of their legal status in US. The law goes one step further and requires public schools to require citizenship status of students – this is something not considered in the Arizona law.
The law, which is scheduled to take effect September 1, requires businesses to use a database called E-Verify to confirm the immigration status of new employees. Even though agricultural farmers are worried about finding labor if this law is enacted, Gene Armstrong, mayor of Allgood, Alabama is not so worried. With unemployment rates at 9% more and more Americans are willing to take up jobs that they were hesitant to pick up in the past.
What this means for businesses is that they have to be even more vigilant and take action to purge the workforce of illegal immigrants. Taking part in the E-Verify program is one step towards being compliant to the federal and state laws and regulations.
EMPTrust can help you with your I-9 and E-Verification process. EMPTrust’s software application allows companies to manage I-9 forms and seamlessly integrate with employment eligibility verification (E-Verify) all at one go.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Any issues regarding compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations should be addressed through your legal department or outside counsel.