In a year of massive budget cuts and lay-offs, how do you fund a new service to handle the data entry and processing for a “right to work” list  for the 76,803 businesses in Alabama which employ 25 employees or less?

You don’t.

Just six weeks before an implementation deadline, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security is still looking for a way to fund an E-Verify database mandated in the state’s immigration law.

Director Spencer Collier said the department, which has a budget of just under $400,000, will have to go to the General Fund to pay for the program that could potentially cover nearly 77,000 businesses in the state — 91 percent of all of Alabama’s firms. . . .

Rebekah Mason, a spokeswoman for Bentley’s office, said funding was being discussed in preparation for the FY 2013 budget, to be considered by the Legislature next spring. The administration is considering a supplemental appropriation from the General Fund to pay to implement the system.

This E-verify program again is the “cornerstone of the entire legislation” known as HB56. To avoid complaints from small businesses across the state, the ALGOP legislature added this “free” service. As previously discussed here:

Instead of directly enrolling in E-verify, these businesses will provide the information to Homeland Security. Accordingly, instead of doing public safety, the Alabama Department of Homeland Defense will become a HR department and enroll the 80,000 firms, or 91 percent of all Alaba­ma businesses, potentially in the federal E-verify program for them.

In a day that we are closing courts for lack of funding and eliminating other essential services, the Republican Legislature just created a taxpayer-funded,  incredibly time-consuming service. Initially, the “service” will actually enroll the 80,000 business into the federal E-verify system which means collecting and accurately entering the following for each and every company:

  • the I-9 information for every employee of the company,
  • the company name,
  • the physical address of the company,
  • the company mailing address,
  • the  employer identification number (also called a federal tax ID number),
  • the total number of employees for all of your company’s hiring sites that will participate in E-Verify,
  • the first three digits of your company’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code,
  • the number of hiring sites that will participate in E-Verify,
  • whether the company is a federal contractor and whether you are enrolling your company because it has a covered federal contract with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause requiring use of E-Verify M-776 Supplemental-2,
  • and contact information for the company’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) signatory (name, phone number, fax number (optional) and e-mail address),

Needless to say, that will take a many man-hours and will require dozens of employees. However, there is more. If any of the information listed above changes after the company is enrolled in E-Verify, the business must notify “the service” and the “the service” is responsible for managing and updating the account in E-Verify. So, every time one of these 80,000 employers hires someone new after enrollment, the “service” will have three days to properly update the federal E-verify account.

What is Director Colliers prayer: please don’t use this free service:

Businesses will also be encouraged to enroll directly in E-Verify, Collier said, which he said might save the firms and the department time.”We are actually a middle step,” Collier said.