For our clients and friends located in South Carolina, this is a reminder that the state’s new immigration law is now in effect. The amended law requires all employers to enroll in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system beginning January 1, 2012 and to verify the legal status of all new employees through E-Verify within three business days. Failure to enroll in and use E-Verify to verify new hires will result in probation for the employer or suspension/revocation of the employer’s business licenses.
Certain parts of the law are on hold right now – including the most controversial elements like transportation of illegal immigrants and requiring officers to check the immigration status of people they pull over if they suspect they are in the country illegally.
South Carolina joins the states of Arizona, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Utah, Louisiana and Mississippi in requiring public and private employers to use E-Verify to confirm a worker’s status. The states of Georgia, Indiana, Virginia, Florida, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Colorado mandate public employers, state agencies and/or state contractors use E-verify.
E-Verify is a free Internet-based system maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. E-Verify compares the information an employee provides on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against millions of government records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. The database generally provides results in three to five seconds. If the information matches, the employee is eligible to work in the United States. If there’s a mismatch, E-Verify will alert the employer and the employee will be allowed to work while he or she resolves the problem.