Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Committee Votes To Let DHS Check On New State Employees

The Department of Homeland Security would verify the legal residency status of all new North Carolina state employees under a bill unanimously approved Tuesday by a House panel.

New state employees already submit self-identification forms to the state. But Rep. George Cleveland called that process an inadequate "farce."

"We have a humongous illegal alien problem in this country and state, and nobody's doing anything about it," said Cleveland, the bill's primary sponsor.

DHS has expanded its free, Web-based service across the country, although only a few states have capitalized on the project. Most have simply encouraged businesses to use the program to verify the legal status of workers.

A number of states have considered mandating verification processes. In April, Georgia passed a law that requires all public employers to use the identification program, which compares the information provided by the prospective employee with a database of information from the Social Security Administration and DHS.

North Carolina's measure, which covers all employees including those in the state's public university and community college systems, spends $50,000 to help agencies use the electronic program. Rep. Linda Coleman, D-Wake, questioned whether that was enough money.

"You're putting the burden on state agencies. It's not their responsibility," Coleman said. "It's the federal government's responsibility."

The program, still in testing stages, is scheduled to expire in November 2008.

Sounds ok to me. And I disagree with Rep. Coleman, I believe that it is the responsibility of the employer to verify rather or not an applicant is qualified for the job and that includes legal residence in the US.

posted by David at 7:52 AM :: Permalink ::