Immigration law a burden for Alabama’s small businesses

Published 11:14am Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Alabama’s legislature continues to grapple this week with what to do with the state’s immigration law.

Those who work with human resources and accounts receivable in small businesses in the state – like I do – are left to wonder whether any problem posed by illegal immigrants warrants the hours of tedious, cumbersome and seemingly unnecessary work the law has caused.

It seems strange that Alabama’s conservatives, who claim to want to foster less government involvement in the operation of businesses here, have passed a law that does the opposite.

For those of you who may not know, the passage of Alabama’s immigration law now requires all new employees be verified as to citizenship and immigration status through the Department of Homeland Security.

Most businesses like ours have always followed the law. Now, we must prove — and prove again — that we do so.

Previously, businesses were simply required to have new employees fill out the federal government’s I-9 form, which collects information and copies of documents proving residency or work status, such as driver’s license, passport, birth certificate and Social Security card.

Now, employers must E-Verify new hires through an online site via the Department of Homeland Security within three days of hiring.

Companies must designate an employee to handle these government verifications and that employee must take a tutorial and pass a test to make certain they understand the rules and regulations governing this new hiring process. That process takes several hours in total.

While the E-Verify process itself doesn’t take much time, it’s tedious. That’s added work for many small businesses workers who already are pinched for time in this challenging economy.

What is surprising is, in addition to the additional verification as to an employee’s eligibility to work, small businesses who want to get paid for work they do for any government entity, like the board of education for example, must provide copies of Memorandums of Understanding and fill out a plethora of documentation, further attesting to the fact they are complying with Alabama’s immigration regulations.

Is all this really necessary? Is the hiring of illegal immigrants such a problem here as to warrant putting such an added burden on the back of the state’s small businesses?

I hope our legislators, when tweaking Alabama’s immigration law, will show some faith in Alabama’s small business operators, who work hard to follow the law, and not make us jump through hoops to prove we do so.

Jan Griffey is the editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669.3131 ext. 36 or by email at

  • Brittanicus

    It seems that the open border groups are always orchestrating ways to subdue the always impending danger of overpopulation growth and illegal immigration. Even if large numbers of migrants are leaving the United States, however it doesn’t excuse the illegal aliens stealing jobs from different working occupations in this nation. Thousands, who manage to sneak over here in agricultural and farming employment, soon learn that there are other jobs in construction, services, landscaping, factories and the entertainment industry. Then these people disappear into cities and all regions of the U.S. replacing citizens and residents as cut price labor for unconcerned business owners. We don’t need any new immigration laws; we just require the government, businesses to comply with the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act? AMENDMENTS YES! NEW LAWS NO! The most scary outcome if the Obama administration passed a so called Comprehensive Immigration package, is the estimated $2.6 trillion dollar package to complete this task, as the American Federation of Immigration Reform (FAIR) as stated.

    The Central government and other organization, including Pew Hispanic Center keep spitting these population numbers on the illegal immigration occupation. But if avid reader do their own research, this is just numbers conjured up to pacify the American people. From what I have surmised the figures of illegal people here is well into 20 million plus. Any survey can be engineered to make it less than they are? Probably they are not counting the hundreds of thousands of ‘foothold’ babies, unborn or who gain immediate citizenship when they are conceived. The illegal Mother can immediately claim, all the same welfare services for the child/ children as any U.S. born citizen or naturalized citizen immigrant. Once situated the whole family moves into the Section 8 housing. Each state wherever the family settles is forced by unfunded mandates, for infant delivery, food stamps, entitlements and subsidized housing. All paid for by the already overtaxed population. Don’t matter if it’s Alabama or any of the other 49 states as they are all distressed from the inability or for some unknown reason to create this mess along most of the undefended border, or entrants coming into America to stay, via the airlines.

    What is noteworthy–that if Arizona gains a positive decision from the high court of the land, there will certainly be hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens sweeping throughout the country, seeking desperately for a new place to live? Interesting enough these persons will head for states with no policing enforcement as California, Nevada, Utah, Washington State and locations that have ignored the pleading of taxpayers about the burden of tax costs. These states already suffering from massive deficits will soon be overwhelmed by more illegal’s, than they had already. California being the paradise, with no enforcement against sanctuary city ordinances. This is the epitome of ‘Poetic Justice’ as California, run by Liberal state legislators have deceived their own legal residents, to subsidize the illegal immigrant invasion.

    Voters must stipulate from GOP House speaker, John Boehner (R-OH) and Dave Camp, (R-MI) the Chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee to stop blocking the 50-state E-Verify bill. They are disinclined to allow the E-Verify bill to stop illegal aliens from stealing Social Security numbers to obtain U.S. jobs. If you are really feeling vigorous, why don’t you put in a call to one of Mr. Camp’s offices: 202-225-3625 Washington, DC (Ways & Means) 202-225-3561 Washington, DC (personal office) 202-224-3121 Washington, DC (Capitol switchboard) 989-631-2552 Midland, Mich. (district office) 231-929-4711 Traverse City, Mich. (district office?)

    Demand these politicians stop blocking the bipartisan E-Verify “THE LEGAL WORKFORCE ACT” from being initiated in Congress by Texas Sen. Lamar Smith. Taxpayers are continuously afflicted at the hands of dishonest politicians who have sold us into financial bondage by allowing illegal immigration to persist almost unimpeded in coming here. Less than 28 bipartisan co-sponsors are needed to head this to the House chamber.

    We must secure our borders, not just from the influx of illegal migrants, but the imminent peril of our national security.

    As the Congress continues to bicker over mandatory E-Verify, the Obama Administration has issued a statement that it is getting ready to introduce a big expansion of the electronic application. A second law to support The Legal Workforce Act H.R. 2885 is to amend the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011 (H.R.140); the country cannot maintain in subsidizing billions of dollars being extracted from the 50 states? Bad politicians should be thrown out of office, not excluding state Governors, Mayors, Judges and all elected officials, and replace them with Fresh Tea Party leaders who will insure everybody gets their fair share of the American Dream and enforce all laws attributed to the Constitution and the Rule of Law. NumbersUSA is maintaining a data base of all related information and you should investigate their website for the latest news.

    This is not just about Mexicans, but Asians, Europeans and others who have strained our compassionate welfare programs, that every state has had to cut back public assistance on US citizens and permanent residents, with green card holders. It’s about anybody who violates a sovereign countries law? Both political parties are to blame for this conflict, as Democrats are out to lure more votes, legal or otherwise? The republicans are for larger profits of cheap labor from the business community, which has lowered wages for the average American worker. Neither party can be trusted to perform correctly, that is why the Constitutional Tea Party is swelling daily with new members in thousands of chapters as people are despondent with the direction of this country. This nation is near bankruptcy and with a 16 Trillion dollar deficit owed to foreign investors; the interest is more than the GDP.

    GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and every politician, along with all elected officials and manager, who better begin listening to the people; not the special interests and radicals, which they will be voted out in coming elections.

    The ‘PEOPLE’S’ Tea Party will enforce our immigration laws, that will represent the people, will introduce a well regulated farm bill so Guest Workers can arrive here and then mandatory depart after their contract expires, with no amnesty. That the farming and agricultural industry will pay the benefits for their labor and not the state’s taxpayers. There will no importation of migrant poverty anymore, cutting off access to welfare programs. Don’t need or should we accept any new low skilled workers, instead we need to supply our own citizens with more occupational programs. Another set of regulations to amend, would be a careful examination of the current visa system allowing around a million legal immigrants annually into the U.S. No further violation can be tolerated from businesses and we should only permit the highest brains in engineering, science, mathematicians and technology professionals to immigrate here

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