Yesterday, the House passed the Mississippi Employment Protection Act 112-9. It would require employers, starting with large companies this year, mid-sized companies in 2009, and smaller companies in 2010, to use E-verify before hiring any employee. It makes it a felony for a company to knowingly hire and illegal immigrant and for an illegal immigrant to take compensation for work. The exception is work around a private home for non-commercial work.
There is no doubt there are holes in the legislation. I had reservations about how the state would begin to enforce the law (the legislation called for DHS, the Secretary of State, Attorney General's Office, Department of Employment Security; however, the exact coordination of such was not specified) and what to do if a business does not have access to the internet in order to access E-verify. However, the point was well taken that small steps were better than no action at all.
In the end, hopefully we can see positive results over the next couple of years. It is important to remember that we are to use this law to solve the economic, public safety and social problems that come as a result of illegal immigration- but not simply to satisfy a demographic-based fear and the all-too-often human desire to separate "them" from "us."