Governor Chaffee, an Independent, said, “This repeal of all parts of the Executive Order on E-Verify will effectively turn the clock back to March 26, 2008, the day before then-Governor Carcieri signed it into law.” Governor Chafee added, “This re-set will allow us to engage in a comprehensive dialogue with our immigrant communities, law enforcement agencies and all interested parties. This is an opportunity to reach a consensus on how best to enforce the law.”
The new executive order means that companies holding contracts with the state of Rhode Island are no longer required to use E-Verify when hiring new employees. It is still lawful for the companies to use E-Verify, but they are not required to do so.
Branches of the state government are not required to use E-Verify for newly hired employees under the new executive order, and there is every indication that they will stop doing so.
In March 2008, Republican Governor Donald Carcieri issued an executive order that required all state agencies in the executive branch, and state contractors, to use E-Verify to ensure that they were not hiring undocumented workers.
This action is in contrast to a trend among states to more strongly enforce employment laws during a recession with high unemployment. In Florida, for example, the newly elected governor took exactly the opposite action, signing an executive order that will require state contractors to use E-Verify.
E-Verify is a free program that allows employers to verify the authenticity of employment documents within seconds. It is a joint program implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, ICE or Immigrations and Custom Enforcement, and the Social Security Administration. The system electronically checks a newly hired employee’s documents against existing records including immigration documents and social security records.
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