The NC House Republicans are touting their tough stance on illegal immigration.  But is their latest bill to address the issue really going to take a bite out of illegal immigration?  I’m afraid that the answer is an emphatic ‘No!’  A reading of NC House Bill 36, which requires the usage of E-Verify to verify the immigration status of workers, finds that the House Republicans have caved in to the agricultural and construction lobby, to the point where the bill is nearly worthless.

HB 36 requires government contractors, subcontractors and all employers in North Carolina to use E-Verify to verify the immigration status of employees.  The main problems lies in the definitions, exemptions and penalties.  Here are some of the exemptions:

  • It exempts employers with less than 25 employees
  • It exempts employers who hire any temporary/seasonal employees
  • It requires usage of E-Verify only for only new employees
  • It exempts city, county and state government employers

The penalty, as originally devised, for contractors who violate the terms of the law, was to make the contract null and void and to freeze them out of government contracting for one year.  The penalty has been watered down to a Class 1 misdemeanor.

All of this adds up to a bill with no bark and no bite.  This bill, in its present form, will have little effect on illegal immigration in North Carolina.  We may as well scrap it.  The only thing it provides is cover for the Republicans who can say they have addressed the issue.

Farmers and contractors will tell you that they’ll go under without illegal immigrants.  They’ll tell you that Americans will not do this kind of work.  May I suggest one thing?  Let’s stop paying people not to work and see how fast they start applying for jobs they otherwise would not have considered.

This blogger thanks NC Renegade for pointing out the deficiencies of this bill. He lays into House Republicans, saying:

IF I UNDERSTAND CORRECTLY SPEAKER TILLIS HAD A MEETING FRIDAY WITH THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND AGRI BUSINESS INDIVIDUALS –  I CAN ONLY ANTICIPATE THESE CHANGES  CAME OUT OF THAT MEETING – BUT DID SPEAKER TILLIS ASK ANY OF US TO ATTEND THAT MEETING TO GET “OUR SIDE OF THE ISSUE”????

Download a copy of the various versions of the bill here.

HB 36 Original         HB 36 Version 2      HB 36 Version 3

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