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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Immigration laws could target N.C. businesses

    Immigration laws could target N.C. businesses
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    March 14, 2009 - 5:45 PM
    Barry Smith
    Freedom Raleigh Bureau

    RALEIGH - Businesses in North Carolina could feel the brunt of immigration enforcement efforts if any of a handful of bills dealing with the matter become law.

    Most of the bills deal with a requirement that local governments and businesses that contract with governments in the state use what's known as the federal "e-verify" program when hiring employees. The e-verify program is aimed at making sure that people being hired are legally eligible for employment. The program has become controversial with critics saying that mistakes in the system result in eligible employees come back as ineligible.

    Supporters of the program, however, say that it works well and if mistakes are made there is ample time for an appeal.

    "I've seen the system work," said state Rep. Wil Neumann, R-Gaston, who along with Rep. George Cleveland, R-Onslow, sponsored a couple of e-verify bills.

    Neumann said that illegal immigrants are attracted to the country and state because of the availability of jobs.

    "The only way to cut it off is to stop paying them and stop hiring them for jobs," Neumann said.

    Attracta Kelly with the Immigrants Legal Assistance Project at the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh said the e-verify system is inaccurate.

    "My big concern would be that it would be used against people who actually have the right to work," Kelly said. "Because of somebody else's mistake, they would be out of a job."

    Neumann counters that under the e-verify system, an employee who is mistakenly ruled ineligible to work has time to appeal and correct the error.

    But Kelly said it's not that simple.

    "It takes ages to get it fixed," Kelly said. "For people who are on the verge of starvation, and if their employer says, ‘Sorry, you're out,' in this day and age finding another job is difficult."

    Erica Peterson, executive vice president of the N.C. Agribusiness Council, agrees.

    "It's very laborious for these individuals to fix this," Peterson said. "It's not any easy process."

    The N.C. Agribusiness Council is a nonprofit organization funded by grants and membership dues. Members include farmers, manufacturers of farm equipment, grocery stores and other agriculture related businesses, she said.

    Peterson said her organization would support the e-verify system if Congress would put the money toward correcting the flaws in the system. But the federal government hasn't done so. And she says having a state e-verify mandate on businesses would be improper until the system is fixed.

    She said she knows of the son of a farmer whose family has been in agriculture in North Carolina for more than 100 years who was initially denied legal employment status through the e-verify program.

    Peterson said that a number of members voluntarily use the e-verify system and report errors within the system.

    The bill filed by Neumann and Cleveland would apply to city and county governments in North Carolina and contractors with those governments. It would also lead to companies losing their business licenses if they knowingly hire unauthorized aliens.

    Another bill filed by Neumann and Cleveland would require use of the e-verify system for businesses getting contracts through the federal stimulus program. Rep. Pat McElraft has also introduced a bill requiring use of the system for companies receiving funds from the stimulus program

    Sen. Austin Allran, R-Catawba, has filed a more comprehensive bill aimed at immigration. In addition to e-verify components, the bill would also allow state and local officials to take action against employers who hire unauthorized aliens. It would also allow the state to regulate businesses that offer immigration assistance.

    Another bill would allow public schools to ask whether a child is a citizen or legal resident. According to the bill, the information would not be used to deny admission. Instead, it would be used for statistical purposes.

    One bill, filed by Reps. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, Paul Luebke, D-Durham, Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, and Verla Insko, D-Orange, stands out from the others in that it would prohibit the UNC Board of Governors and the State Board of Community Colleges from soliciting information regarding a prospective student's immigration status.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    I hope all these bills pass and I support every single one of them. As for the immigrant that gets a bad rap under E-Verify, well, that's the breaks. You can appeal and you should have your papers and documents properly filed with the immigration authorities and have valid original documents in a safe place as your proof. The handful of errors that might occur will likely be the fault of the visa holder anyway, something they didn't do right to begin with, so that's just the way it goes.

    As to the claim by the Immigrants Legal Assistance Project at the N.C. Justice Center in Raleigh that someone is "starving" because they lost their job even though they have the right to work, well, all I can say to that is "Welcome to America".

    Why do immigrants need a legal assistance project at the NC Justice Center and who pays for that?!! Where is the Americans Legal Assistance Project at the NC Justice Center in Raleigh? Maybe Americans can go there and have them fight for their jobs and right to work, eh?
    A Nation Without Borders Is Not A Nation - Ronald Reagan
    Save America, Deport Congress! - Judy

    Support our FIGHT AGAINST illegal immigration & Amnesty by joining our E-mail Alerts at

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