Not many businesses using E-Verify

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Not all Utah companies are complying with a new illegal immigration law like they should.

About 3,000 Utah companies signed up to use E-verify since July 1. It's the federal system that checks immigration status. But Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, says the number could be low because of the economy.

"The main thing it is used for is when a company is hiring," Herrod says. "I wish every business in Utah was hiring right now so they would have to use it. But I am afraid that with the economy right now, a lot of businesses aren't hiring."

Herrod hopes companies aren't ignoring the law because they feel illegal immigration is a victimless crime. He says there are also victims of identity theft by illegal immigrants.

He also points out E-verify is not as hard to use as some may fear.

"It actually takes very little time to sign up on the federal website, and then to run an employee through takes very little time. It's not an onerous program."

Herrod says he has even heard back from businesses telling him that they were saved a lot of hassle by discovering early through E-verify that they had some numbers transposed in a new hire's Social Security number.

As of Tuesday morning 105 Utah companies had participated in the optional part of the new law and signed up for the Utah list showing companies that comply. You can see that list from the Department of Commerce here.


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Mary Richards


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