House to widen E-Verify law

Posted June 7, 2011

State House lawmakers gave tentative approval today to require businesses with 25 or more employees who provide services to cities or counties to use the federal E-Verify system to check any new workers’ immigration status.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, says the measure would ensure only legal workers could be paid with public dollars. “It’s a jobs bill,” he said.

Another bill sponsor, Rep. Harry Warren, R-Rowan, says thirteen other states already require the use of E-Verify for contracts involving public money. “We are way behind everyone else on this.”

Under the measure, a business that fails to check all its employees with E-Verify could face fines of $2000 per unchecked employee.

Opponents argued that the federal program has a substantial error rate, especially for people who are naturalized citizens or are working on green cards. They also said it would impose an unreasonable burden on firms for whom public business is just a small part of their operation.

Rep. Bill Faison, D-Orange, said the bill is so broadly written that if a city wanted to contract with a realtor to help sell a property, or had its accounts handled by a local bank, those entire companies would have to implement E-Verify for all future hires.

“Folks, I didn’t come down here to impose greater regulation on business in this state,” Faison said. “What are we doing here?”

“This bill is too broad,” Faison continued. "It is focused on illegal immigration. It’s not focused on the common sense of how we go about getting services rendered within a community. There’s such a target lock on who we’re out trying to get that the collateral damage has been ignored.”

Cleveland said many of the objections opponents raised were the same ones raised a few years ago when the state required schools to use E-Verify, but the potential problems never materialized. He says half of the workers flagged by the system don’t appeal their case.

“The system works, and it works rather well,” Cleveland said, adding that he thought most big corporations, including Bank of America and Wachovia, already use E-Verify to check new hires.  (Both of those banks confirmed late today that they do, in fact, use E-Verify.)

The bill passed by a bipartisan vote of 75-43. It’s scheduled for a final floor vote tomorrow.


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  • ga2nc36bm Jun 11, 2011

    hhhhhmmmmm in the other southern states the e-verify is to all so know illegals can come to nc and get hundreds of jobs with only 24 each or less there is a will there is a way

  • haggis basher Jun 10, 2011

    "Angel:::the law needs to be passed for every business. how else can we cut down on illegals other than them committing crimes???"

    Too many businesses rely on the illegals to boost their profit margins for the GOP to ever do anything effective to stop them getting jobs. Business loves them, they are cheap and exploitable and they drive wages down even for legal residents or citizens.

  • driverkid3 Jun 8, 2011

    Angel:::the law needs to be passed for every business. how else can we cut down on illegals other than them committing crimes???

    Committing crimes doesn't seem to stop them at all.

  • Angel67 Jun 8, 2011

    the law needs to be passed for every business. how else can we cut down on illegals other than them committing crimes???

  • SARCASTICLES Jun 8, 2011

    Great idea, Bill.......what's up with the 25-employee or MORE requirement? Any of you boys in Raleigh got cows or horses? If so, do you build fences on THREE SIDES, and leave one side open? Might as well not even bother in the first place. Figures. ;)

  • driverkid3 Jun 7, 2011

    That is a law that needs to be enforced NOW, but I do think the fines should go to $5,000.00 per person instead of the puny amount they stated in the story.

  • josephlawrence43 Jun 7, 2011

    wow--a legislator who actually wants to enforce the law--how unique is that???