New Hampshire House Bill Would Require Employers To Use E-Verify

A bill being considered by the New Hampshire House of Representatives would make it mandatory for employers to use the E-Verify system in the hiring process. This change could affect thousands of undocumented workers in the state of New Hampshire.

If House Bill 1124 passes, businesses would be required to use E-Verify. E-Verify is a web-based system that employers can use to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. Most states do not require employers to use E-Verify. However, 22 states do require all or some of the employers in their state to use the system.

One of the state’s representatives, Rep. Tim Baxter, said that all businesses should use E-Verify. He said the system is an inexpensive, fast, and easy way to hire competent personnel while discouraging illegal immigration. Baxter also stated, “This law is about how we can stop illegal immigration in New Hampshire. We want to make it harder for illegal immigrants to be hired here.” Baxter is currently running for the U.S. Congress.

With the current hiring process, when an employer hires personnel, they gather the new employee’s personal information and keep it in their files. It is not always shared with a federal database. Whereas when E-Verify is used, the information is reported to the federal government and examined in real-time as the application is submitted. After this, if the applicant for the job is discovered to be undocumented, the applicant would then be disqualified for the job.

Although, according to one lawyer, the system does sometimes make mistakes. Additionally, the lawyer stated that this bill could be found to violate laws prohibiting discrimination against workers due to their country of origin. He also wondered if the business community would support the bill.

The bill would prohibit the employment of undocumented workers. However, an immigration lawyer who works with undocumented immigrants living in New Hampshire believes that errors could affect some people who have DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) status as well as international students and some Temporary Protected Status holders. People in these situations are required to renew their work authorization periodically. Should these work authorizations be delayed, or if a mistake occurs during the process, an employer could be required to fire one of these workers. Baxter stated that the bill came about due to his constituents’ concern about jobs.

Though the E-verify system remains optional for employers in most states, should this bill become law New Hampshire would join the 22 states that currently mandate the program for some or all workers. The best way to ensure your business is already compliant with the potential new law is to begin using an electronic I-9 management tool that is integrated for use with the E-verify system.

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