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National Restaurant Association - Six more states to require businesses to use E-Verify

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Six more states to require businesses to use E-Verify

Federal and state lawmakers are increasingly turning to E-Verify as a way to curb illegal immigration.

State lawmakers in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee this year passed bills to require nearly all private-sector employers to use the federal E-Verify system. Once their laws are phased in, these six states will join Arizona, Mississippi and Utah in imposing E-Verify mandates on most private businesses. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security runs E-Verify, which lets employers check the work authorization of newly hired employees online.

A handful of other states require contractors and state agencies to use the system. The federal government requires most federal contractors to use E-Verify too. (See state E-Verify map.)

States are getting more aggressive in part because the U.S. Supreme Court this spring upheld Arizona’s right to force private businesses to use the federal E-Verify system.

At the federal level, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee could act as soon as this month to approve a bill by Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) to make E-Verify mandatory for all employers. Approval of Smith's Legal Workforce Act would kick off what's likely to be much lengthier debate in the full House and Senate. 

The National Restaurant Association and others in the business community have been working with Smith since early this year in favor of a federal system that’s reliable and efficient for all businesses. The NRA testified before a House subcommittee this year in support of a single, workable federal system that doesn’t force employers to follow separate state laws.

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