E-Verify law not being enforced

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The state's E-Verify law, which requires companies to check for illegal immigrant workers, is being thrown into the spotlight, not because it doesn't work, but because companies may intentionally not be using it and getting away with it.

The issue came up during legislative hearings last week at the Capitol as a proposed immigration bill was being debated. Committee chairman and local senator Joey Fillingane says the problem seems to be a combination of limited resources and no one enforcing the law.

Rather than being proactive, Fillingane says those agencies charged with enforcement, are waiting around for complaints.

"What we have discovered, and it was good, in the hearings is that maybe there is a disconnect between the enforcement agencies and actually getting out there, boots on the ground, and checking some of these things. So, I hope this doesn't mean people are just getting away with ignoring the law, but it certainly seems like that might be the case right now," said Fillingane.

The law, which was passed in 2008, is taking effect in phases. By July of next year every employer in the state would be required to use E-Verify.