New Immigration Law: All South Carolina Employers Must Verify New Hires Through E-Verify Effective January 1, 2012

All South Carolina employers should be aware that ALL new hires must be verified through the federal E-Verify effective January 1, 2012. On June 27, 2011 Governor Nikki Haley signed into law amendments to the South Carolina Illegal Immigration and Reform Act requiring all employers to enroll in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s E-Verify system and to verify the immigration status of new employees through the E-Verify program within three (3) business days of hiring any employee. Note that this requirement is in addition to, not in place of, completing and maintaining the federal employment eligibility verification form (Form I-9). This means employers may no longer confirm a new employee’s authorization to work via driver’s license, social security card or other form of ID. Failure to enroll in and use E-Verify to determine the status of new hires results in either (1) probation for the employer; or (2) suspension and/or revocation of the employer’s business license(s).

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is a free internet application maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The web-based program analyzes the information an employee provides on the Form I-9 and compares the data against records maintained by the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. Results of the check are provides almost instantaneously. Should the information entered by the employer match the information maintained by the government entities the new employee is eligible to work in the United States. Should the information provided by the employer fail to match the information maintained by the government’s database, E-Verify will alert the employer to the discrepancies and the employee will be allowed to work while he/she resolves the issues.

To enroll in E-Verify, go to www.dhs.gov/e-verify.

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