The vast majority of businesses in the state failed to meet one of the requirements of Alabama’s H.B. 56 before the deadline, signaling continued confusion about the law.
Tens of thousands of Alabama businesses failed to register with E-Verify, the federal database used to verify the work eligibility of job applicants, before an April 1 deadline established by the state’s controversial immigration crackdown law, the Associated Press reports.
It is unclear exactly how many companies missed the deadline. While the Alabama Department of Revenue told the AP there are 368,613 companies doing business in the state, Republican Gov. Robert Bentley’s office said the state’s Industrial Relations Department counts only 85,000. Still, only 18,137 Alabama companies had enrolled in the system by Monday, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that oversees the program.
Under the law signed by Bentley last year, all businesses are required to register for E-Verify and use it to check the work eligibility of new hires. The law also penalizes businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.