On May 26, 2011 the United States Supreme Court ruled that Arizona was well within its legal rights to require Arizona-based employers to check the legal working status of their employees through the E-Verify database. Arizona’s Fair and Legal Employment Act (HB 2779) requires all businesses to utilize E-Verify to determine the employment eligibility of new hires. This Act came under fire by the United States Chamber of Commerce which sued the state over the law, and argued that immigration enforcement was under the jurisdiction of the federal government through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), which was passed in order to control and deter illegal immigration to the United States. As part of this sweeping immigration law, Congress removed almost all states’ rights to enforce immigration and made it a federal responsibility. The IRCA included one loophole which gave each state the power to control business licenses issued within a state; Arizona used the employment eligibility requirement as a tool to enforce their licensing requirements.
The Supreme Court’s Decision is a huge win for states that mandate the use of E-Verify. Currently there are over 28 states that have some type of active legislation that mandates the use of E-Verify in some form. Many laws pertain to public versus private employers and specific state legislation is a requirement based on employee size or even a requirement of using sub-contractors. Visit EBI’s E-Verify Legislation Map for a current list of states with active legislation. EBI offers electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify solutions to employers. EBI is a proud supporter and an approved Designated Employer Agent for the Department of Homeland Security.
Employment Background Investigations, Inc. is committed to providing employers with valuable education, news and resources around background screening, drug testing, occupational healthcare and employment eligibility. All content provided by EBI is published for the convenience of its readers and should never be deemed as legal guidance or advice. Always consult your legal counsel for specific advice on local laws and industry regulations.
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