written by Patti Stoner

Patti Stoner head shot

Update! July 5th. The recent U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions regarding Arizona’s immigration law have impact on Springfield’s E-Verify issue. At the heart of the issue is state and local governments lending a hand in enforcing federal immigration laws. Attorneys representing the four parties who filed suit against the city of Springfield feel the Supreme Court’s decisions favor their case. Springfield City Attorney Dan Wichmer said “There is quite a bit of language that is relevant …. And bears on the case.” We’ll wait to see if our local municipality can legally enforce this law.

For more information on the high court’s decision, click here: High Court Splits Verdict

Update! On May 10th, a federal judge has blocked the city of Springfield from enforcing a voter-approved law requiring businesses to check employees’ immigration status using the federal E-Verify system. Click here to read the full article from the Springfield News-leader. We will keep you posted on further updates.

This past February the voters approved the new ordinance which requires all licensed businesses, organizations, etc. (i.e. all employers) to use the E-Verify program to confirm that any new hires may legally work in the United States. This must be done within three days of their hire date. Springfield licensed businesses and non-profit organizations will need to enroll with US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s E-Verify Online program, if they haven’t already done so.

This ordinance was effective immediately and the City Manager has recently announced it will begin enforcement on June 4th. Once a business has been notified by the city of a complaint against it, they have three days to provide proof that they have verified the new employees’ are legal workers (proof of the use of E-Verify). Failure to do so requires the city of Springfield to close your business or organization.

These businesses and organizations will also be required to submit an annual affidavit stating they have enrolled in this program and are using it for every new hire. The affidavit must be signed and notarized and submitted in paper form. This form cannot be electronically submitted. For businesses, they will submit this affidavit by January 31st when they complete their occupational license. This first form is due 1/31/2013. For non-profit organizations and other employers who do not require a business license, they must submit their affidavit by July 1st each year. This first affidavit for these employers will be due 7/1/2012. Failure to submit this annual form may mean closure of your business or organization by the City.

Since it may take a few days to become registered, you are encouraged to register now and not wait until your next hire. Once hired, you will only have three employment days to E-Verify your new hire.

You should review this checklist before you begin the enrollment process. Enrollment Checklist

If you have multiple locations for your business, you should review this list of questions before you begin the enrollment process. List of Questions

To begin enrollment, click here: https://e-verify.uscis.gov/enroll/StartPage.aspx?JS=YES
For more information visit Springfield’s website: http://www.springfieldmo.gov/everify
For more information about the U.S. e-verify program you are required to enroll in: www.uscis.gov

If you have additional questions, please call one of our Small Business Services administrators.