E-Verify: Legal Reassurance for the Senate Leadership
The non-end of this year’s General Assembly session gives us the chance to return to some important legislation that would have otherwise fallen through the cracks. One of these is the e-verify bill
[House 5143 PDF. Senate 0210 PDF.] E-verify passed the House but stalled in the Senate because Senate leadership has concerns about the legality of the bill. Greg Pare, Director of communications for the Rhode Island Senate, sent the following on June 24 in response to my inquiry as to the specifics of these concerns. (Emphasis added.)
that would require Rhode Island employers with three or more employees to participate in the federally instituted E-verify system to verify the legal status of new hires on a prospective basis
[This should be a link to 8USC§1324a(h)(2).] There’s only one problem. The e-verify bill contains no civil or criminal sanctions for employers who fail to comply with this proposed law. Accordingly, the two cases cited can also be set aside as they bolster a non-existent concern.
Legal counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee raised the following concern with respect to the E-verify legislation in its current form:
8USC§1324a(h)(2), entitled “Preemption,” declares: “The provisions of this section preempt any State or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens.”
Here are two case cites:
L544 F.3d 976 (Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals)
2009 WL 1563457 (C.A.8 (Mo.)) (Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals)
Senate leadership can be relieved and reassured – their concerns are unfounded. This bill can be voted out of committee and onto the Senate floor.