Rand Paul echoes 2011 objection to E-Verify

Last Sunday Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on a Sunday show made some comments about requiring businesses to use E-Verify to determine if a worker has the legal status to be hired.

Back in 2011 the South Carolina Legislature passed a bill, over the strong objection of the S.C. Small Business Chamber, that requires almost all businesses in the state to use E-Verify or face penalties.  We warned the General Assembly that small businesses were going to be the ones caught not in compliance with the law.

That apparently is what has happened.  The S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation reports that in the first year on enforcement of the law, 323 businesses (mostly if not all small) were cited for not using E-Verify for new hires and were put on probation.  These are only the ones the agency found in random audits.  The actual numbers of small businesses in non-compliance is probably much, much higher.

But even if all the state’s businesses eventually comply with the law, it still is an extra burden the state has put on small businesses in order to carry out an immigration policy for South Carolina.  The law is not intended to benefit businesses.

“If the state wants to assist the federal government in verifying citizenship, it should do the work itself instead of mandating the burden be put on small business,” I said in 2011.

Subsequent to the law passing I did find out that the federal E-Verify law only allows businesses to use the system.  My efforts to get our members of Congress to correct this problem did not generate any interest except from Congressman Trey Gowdy’s office.  But even his office saw too many problems in opening up the E-Verify issue in Congress again.

So it was good to hear Senator Paul make the following remarks on one of last Sunday’s morning shows.

 “It’s not that I’m opposed to some sort of database check….I just would prefer the government to be the policeman and not the businessman.”

Good for Senator Paul.  I hope he will put forward the effort in Congress to change the law so that South Carolina can lift the E-Verify burden off our small businesses and put it where it belongs….on state government.

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