>Georgia Immigration Update

>The Georgia General Assembly has been working on anti-illegal immigration legislation this session. Here is the current situation. The House and Senate have each passed their own versions of Immigration bills. The part that will likely have the most impact on ginning is the mandatory use of the federal E-Verify program. This program has been around a long time and, while not perfect, seems to be the best method for employment screening for eligibility to work.

The House Judiciary Non-Civil committee, just today, took up the Senate version of the bill and substituted its original House language in its place. This means we are now working with a Senate Bill and a House Bill with nearly exactly the same language. In GA each bill must stand on its own where in Congress they could conference right now. This means that one of the bills must pass the other house. Whichever bill passes first, the originating house has the option to concur which is likely if there are only minor changes or they could require a conference committee. All indication is that we are headed for a conference committee on this bill.

South Carolina passed a mandatory E-Verify bill a few years ago but unlike the GA bill, SC allows for businesses to hire employees from a limited list of states in lieu of using the E-Verify system.

The bill in Georgia would require all businesses with 5 or more employees to participate in E-Verify beginning December 31, 2012. This effectively gives two seasons before we would need to begin participating in E-Verify.

There are several other sections to the bill but the E-Verify is the one that is generating the most interest.

More as the bills move.