In the aftermath of the November 2012 elections, most immigration law pundits are focused on the increased chances for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) to pass Congress. But another area to consider is whether more states will pass E-Verify legislation. Obviously, this will be impacted on whether mandatory E-Verify is included in CIR. A second consideration is the strong majorities that Republicans hold in many state legislatures.
Currently, 7 states, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah, require all employers to utilize E-Verify while Tennessee and Louisiana make the use of E-Verify advantageous for employers but not mandatory. Nine states, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Virginia (the last two effective in 2013) require employers contracting with state and/or local government to utilize E-Verify.
What states might pass E-Verify legislation or expand it to include all employers in 2013? Based upon the political landscape, Arkansas is a likely candidate due to the fact that Republicans tookover both chambers of the legislature. Kansas came close in 2012 to passing E-Verify legislation and it is likely to be a topic in the 2013 legislature though the political makeup of the legislature remained about the same. Republicans in Tennessee now have a super majority in both the House and Senate so one can expect an effort to pass new legislation making the use of E-Verify mandatory. There are other states, Florida, Idaho, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas, where the Republicans continue to hold significant majorities. However, it is unclear whether any of these states will pass E-Verify legislation or expand E-Verify legislation.
Bruce E. Buchanan is an attorney at the at Nashville Office of Siskind Susser, P.C. He represents individuals and employers in all aspects of immigration law, with an emphasis on immigration compliance for employers, and employment/labor law. Mr. Buchanan received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law in 1982 and a B.S. degree from Florida State University, where he graduated magna cum laude. Mr. Buchanan has been in private practice since 2003. Beforehand, he served as Senior Trial Specialist for the National Labor Relations Board for 20 years. He also served from 1991 to 2003 as Adjunct Professor at William H. Bowen UALR School of Law, where he taught courses in Labor Law and Employment Law. Mr. Buchanan was chair of the Tennessee Bar Association's Immigration Law Section from 2011 to 2012 and has been the editor of the TBA's Immigration Law Section Newsletter and the TBA's Labor and Employment Law Section Newsletter since 2009. Mr. Buchanan is a frequent writer and speaker on immigration compliance as well as labor law, wage & hour law and proposed federal legislation. He is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves as the Advocacy Liaison of the Mid-South Chapter of AILA. Mr. Buchanan also serves on the Board of Directors for the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) and is an associate member of the Mid-Tennessee Chapter of the Associated Builders & Contractors. Mr. Buchanan is admitted to practice in Tennessee, Florida, and Arkansas, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and D.C. Circuits and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas.