US passes law requiring employers to use E-Verify to check immigrant's work status

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From 1 January 2012, five states in the US have implemented new laws requiring employers to register for and use the federal E-Verify system to confirm that their immigrant employees are legally allowed to work in the US.

Most of the new laws were passed following the US Supreme Court's May 2011 decision to uphold Arizona's right to make the use of the online employment authorization tool, E-Verify compulsory for Arizona based employers. The tool allows employers to make sure immigrants have the proper work visa to work in the US.

It is a requirement that employers in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee use the E-Verify system. According to the US Department of Homeland Security, the E-Verify system is supposed to help prevent illegal immigrants from working in the US.

California passed legislation last October that overrides county, municipal, and other local government laws requiring employers to use E-Verify. Therefore participation in E-Verify is voluntary in California according to state law. The only time it is compulsory in California is under federal law for federal government departments.

In total, seventeen states in the US now have legislation that requires employers to use the E-Verify system in order to cut down on illegal workers.

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