If you run a business in Alabama, E-Verify is your new friend.
As part of a tough new immigration reform bill signed into law on Thursday by Governor Robert Bentley, Alabama employers will now have to use the immigration verification system when hiring new employees.
Businesses are also bound by new laws relating to day laborers, transportation, and rental agreements.
Though there is much opposition to the new immigration law, at the very least, a recent Supreme Court decision upheld a similar mandatory E-Verify law in Arizona.
Like Arizona's law, employers who violate the Alabama E-Verify law risk a suspended or revoked business license.
Though it's a bit unclear as to how it will be enforced, the new law also prohibits transporting an illegal alien if you know or recklessly disregard his illegal residency status.
It also appears as though legislators are seeking to curtail the employment of day laborers via transportation restrictions. They've made it illegal to enter a vehicle for the purpose of being hired by the vehicle's occupant if doing so blocks or impedes traffic.
On the rental agreement front, the Alabama immigration law makes it illegal for a landlord to knowingly or recklessly enter into a lease with an illegal alien.
Though the Alabama E-Verify provision is legal, these new rules put a lot of pressure on Alabama business owners to inquire about the immigration status of employees and even customers. Doing so may run afoul of federal discrimination laws, so consider speaking to an attorney about these changes.
- Alabama governor signs tough new immigration law (CNN)
- Employment Eligibility Verification (FindLaw)
- Utah Proposes Bill to Verify Workers' Immigration Status (FindLaw's Law & Daily Life)