Council for Global Immigration and SHRM quoted in article – “Impasse on immigration reform frustrates employers”

Council in the News

​​​​BenefitsPro, 02/19/2014 –

“With immigration reform stalled in Congress, last year saw a surge in the number of laws passed by states hoping to better regulate the use foreign workers. As a result, employers with sites in multiple locations are facing an increasingly complex – if not conflicting – set of rules for immigrant labor.

“The National Conference of State Legislatures issued a report last month showing a significant jump in immigration-related measures passed by states in 2013. In total, 437 laws and resolutions addressing immigration were passed by state legislatures last year, a 64 percent increase over the 267 laws and resolutions passed in 2012, the report said.

“…Although immigration has traditionally been regulated by the federal government, a 2011 Supreme Court ruling on an Arizona law gave states more leeway.

“…According to Mike Aitken, vice president of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management, the resulting state laws have been inconsistent with each other and, at times, with federal rules. ‘If there’s ever a role where the federal government should be pre-eminent, it’s with immigration,’ Aitken said. ‘We just think this is not the way to go. You don’t want 50 states interpreting United States’ immigration law.’

“…According to Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison for the Council for Global Immigration…the impasse on federal reform has left employers struggling to navigate the patchwork of requirements and rules that they face. ‘Employers would like consistency, so they’re not having to look at a variety of state laws,’ he said. ‘We understand why some states are looking at implementing new laws, but we do think it really should be the federal government moving the ball on this issue.’

“Employment verification is not the only issue that affects employers, Storch notes. Laws that place barriers to housing, or obtaining drivers licenses…can have a direct impact on a company’s workforce. ‘Drivers licenses are definitely a big issue…’ Storch said, noting that some states have made it harder for immigrants to obtain licenses at the same time others are easing access to licenses for immigrants. ‘You have someone at the DMV looking at an I-9 — is every employee at a DMV supposed to be an expert in immigration documents? It can get very tricky.’”

To read the full article, click here.