Miami Herald: Donald Chase and his father farm 1,600 acres in Macon County, and if proposed immigration rules being considered by Georgia lawmakers go into effect, Chase and lot of farmers are worried it will cost them more than time and money. Some farmers say it could put them out of business. While the immigration rules intended to stem undocumented workers would affect many private employers, agriculture is the state’s largest industry -- valued at more than $11.3 billion in 2009 -- and would be one of the hardest hit. At the heart of House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 40, as originally written, is that employers will be required to use E-Verify -- a federal online employment verification program -- to confirm the legal status of employees to work in this country. It would not apply to farmers who use the H-2A program, sometimes referred to as the federal guest worker program, which allows farmers to fill temporary jobs with non-U.S. citizen workers. E-Verify, authorized in 1996, is administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service and compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 -- Employment Eligibility Verification -- to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility.
Although currently a voluntary program in most states, E-Verify is mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.
- Eli Kantor
- Beverly Hills, California, United States
- Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com