Georgia Requires E-Verify, Cracks Down On Illegal Immigration


Georgia recently enacted the Illegal Immigration Report and Enforcement Act of 2011, which, among other things, requires employers with more than 10 employees to use E-Verify, a federal electronic work authorization program administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. The law also provides new, harsh penalties for illegal immigrants and those who hire or help them.

E-Verify Provisions

The IIREA provides that businesses will not be able to get new or renewed business licenses, or other required business documents, unless they provide an affi davit attesting that they use the E-Verify program in accordance with federal regulations, or that they are exempted from IIREA coverage. The Georgia Attorney General will be issuing a form affi davit for this purpose by January 1, 2012.

Georgia’s new law is similar to Arizona’s S.B. 1070, whose E-Verify provisions were recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and immigrants’ rights groups had challenged the Arizona law, saying that it was preempted by the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. In light of the Supreme Court decision, we expect to see many more states enact similar laws.

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