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Saturday, July 9, 2011 - 4:53am

E-Verify Explained

Next year, many Georgia employers will start using the federal E-Verify system to ensure their employees can work here legally.

Starting in January, it’s required under Georgia’s new immigration law for companies with 500 workers or more. Over the next year, smaller employers will be phased in in two waves.

“They submit the new employee’s Social Security number, their name and their date of birth, the citizenship or alien status, and if that person is an alien, their alien registration number,” said Janice Kephart with the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington D.C.

Kephart said employers using the online system don’t have to vet citizenship documents. They enter the information on the E-Verify web site.

“First, it pings the Social Security Administration over a secure web connection,” Kephart said. “Then, if that’s OK and you’re a U.S. citizen, then you are authorized usually within minutes. For non-citizens, the information then goes to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, who hold all the data on who has green cards and who doesn’t.”

Kephart said employees rejected by E-Verify have eight days to appeal.

A federal judge has blocked other provisions of the law, including one allowing police to check the immigration status of some criminal suspects.