Alabama employers to E-Verify new workers

The law is being hailed as the strictest state immigration legislation to date.

Employers in Alabama had better prepare to toe the line. Earlier this month, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act (HB 56), which will require state employers to use the federal E-Verify system to confirm the work status of any new hires.

The law will take effect Sept. 1, 2011.

Under the new regulations, any employers found to have knowingly hired an individual without work authorization face the revocation or suspension of their business license. Additionally, the law makes the premeditated transport, trafficking or harboring of an undocumented state alien a state crime, as well as “recklessly” entering into a lease with an undocumented alien.

All individuals must be able to establish the presumption of legal U.S. residency by providing a valid, unexpired Alabama driver’s license or non-driver identification card, or face being detained by the police. Other acceptable forms include any valid U.S. federal or state government-issued IDs with a photograph, or a foreign passport with valid visa and I-94.

While the portion of the law that mandates employers use the E-Verify system takes effect on April 1, 2012, certain contractors must begin collecting related attestations and using the system starting September 1.

Prior to this time, law firm Jackson Lewis LLP suggests that Alabama employers begin the following:

  • Reviewing the new law and determining when they must begin using the E-Verify system to verify all new employees
  • Reviewing their Form I-9 procedures to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law

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