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Immigration Law - March 2012 Update

updated March 1, 2012

Today is March 1, 2012, and this is a friendly reminder that one month from today, on April 1, the E-Verify requirement for employers in Alabama becomes effective. If you have not already enrolled in E-Verify and you are an Alabama employer, you must do so sometime this month. I donít recommend waiting until the last minute, as the enrollment process is more than just a few minutes, and I think there may be many who try to enroll just before the deadline which may bog down the E-Verify servers.

One question that I am getting frequently is whether employers should verify all of their existing employees through the E-Verify system after enrolling, and there seems to be some confusion and even some misinformation about that. With only one narrow exception, employers are not allowed to verify through E-Verify employees who were hired before the employer enrolled in E-Verify. An employer should only E-Verify employees hired after the employer enrolls in E-Verify. (The one narrow exception is for employers who have a federal contract containing Federal Acquisition Regulation, or FAR, clause. It requires all employees working on the federal contract to be verified using E-Verify.)

Our previous updates on this law can be accessed here: Employment Law Update - September 2011 (pdf, 71k). See also the Alabama Attorney Generalís site at http://www.ago.state.al.us/Page-Immigration. You can also get information on the E-Verify system at http://1.usa.gov/8k8MZ and can enroll in E-Verify at http://bit.ly/xO2bM. You can also participate in a webinar on E-Verify at http://1.usa.gov/n1PEP7 (scroll down to E-Verify Overview or, if you are already enrolled, E-Verify Webinar for Existing Users). They also have webinars available for federal contractors if you have questions about that.

Of course, if you have any questions about compliance with this new law, with ensuring the eligibility of employees to work, or with any other employment issues, please contact us.