Written by Amos Bridges
11:00 PM, Jan. 14, 2012

According to the Ozarks Minutemen, one of the reasons a local E-Verify ordinance is needed is to keep up with laws being passed in other states.

"We don't want to become a sanctuary" for illegal immigrants leaving states that require E-Verify, said group spokesman Jerry Long.

Lawmakers in 10 states adopted laws or issued executive orders in 2011 requiring E-Verify to be used by at least some employers, bringing the total nationwide to 17, according to a November report by the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Few of the new laws are as strict as the ordinance proposed in Springfield, however.

Laws in Alabama and South Carolina require all employers, public and private, to use E-Verify on new hires. But several other states offer exemptions for smaller companies.

Utah's law exempts companies with 15 or fewer employees, while Georgia's applies only to those with more than 10 on staff.

Tennessee's E-Verify law sets the bar at six, as does North Carolina's, which also includes an exemption for short-term and seasonal workers.

In Florida, executive orders require public agencies, government contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify, mirroring existing federal law and a 2008 statute in Missouri.

New laws in Indiana, Louisiana and Virginia include similar requirements.

Countering the trend, a new California law prohibits local governments from requiring private employers to use E-Verify "except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds."

Ozarks Minutemen fear Springfield will become 'sanctuary' for illegal immigrants | Springfield News-Leader |