Oklahoma employers have homework to do now that a controversial immigration bill is on the books. That's because the bill affects the way they do business. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports employers who break the law, could find themselves in a lot of trouble.
"This bill does empower state and local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law," Representative Randy Terrill said.
But House Bill 1804 doesn't just go after those who cross the border illegally, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 also targets those who hire them.
"Businesses will no longer be able to willfully hire illegal aliens or otherwise turn a blind eye," said Terrill.
Under the law, employers have to verify the legal status of all new employees through a verification system. It also makes it illegal to fire a legal resident and allow an illegal to stay on the job. Terrill says those who choose to ignore the law could end up paying for it in the long run.
"They could be liable for a discrimination claim against them if they happen to discharge a U.S. worker at the same time they retain an illegal alien on the payroll, or they could be reliable for tax withholding because they couldn't verify someone's social security number," he said.
Employers can use verification systems through Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. State employers and subcontractors have until November 2007 to sign up for a verification system, but the deadline for private companies is July 1, 2008.
Originally aired 5/9/2007 5:00 PM - Updated 5/9/2007 6:09 PM
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.