March 11, 2011

Immigration Reform Update: House Bill 87

By: Alissa C. Atkins, Esq.

On the heels of Senate Bill (SB) 7, which seeks to prevent undocumented workers from receiving workers' compensation benefits, the Georgia House of Representatives recently voted to pass House Bill (HB) 87. This bill is modeled on the Arizona law that is currently being challenged on constitutional grounds. Should HB 87 become law some of its provisions may significantly affect employers throughout Georgia.

Essentially, HB 87 authorizes state and local police to verify the immigration status of certain suspects. It also mandates that private employers use E-Verify to confirm newly hired workers are legally entitled to work in the United States, and criminally penalizes applicants who "willfully and fraudulently" use false identification to seek employment.

Now that the House has passed the bill, it will move to the Senate. If passed by the Senate the bill will be submitted to Governor Nathan Deal. While the bill is not yet law, employers are questioning what might be required of them. As it stands, the bill does not require employers to use E-Verify to determine work status for current employees. However, the bill underwent 16 drafts prior to passage by the House, so there will likely be more versions of the bill to come. We will continue to update you on developments with the immigration legislation regarding employment and workers' compensation issues.

Read more information on E-Verify:

If you have questions or comments, please reply to this post or contact your David & Rosetti attorney at 404-446-4488 or by visiting our website at

Nothing contained in this blog should be construed as legal advice or opinion on specific facts. For editorial comments or suggestions, please contact David W. Willis at (404) 446-4491 or

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