Gov. Bobby Jindal signs illegal immigrant hiring bills

Date: Jul 07, 2011

BATON ROUGE -- Two bills designed to discourage public and private sector companies from hiring illegal immigrants have been signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Jindal's office said he has signed House Bill 342 by Rep. John Bel Edwards, D-Amite, to require all private contractors who want to do business with a state or local public entity to use the federal worker verification system, "E-Verify," to assure that all employees are in the country legally.

Jindal also has signed House Bill 646 by Rep. Kirk Talbot, R-River Ridge, that requires private businesses to use the same "E-Verify" system as one means to check the status of workers or face fines for each illegal immigrant employed.

Jindal signed Talbot's bill Friday and Edwards' bill last Thursday. Both take effect Aug. 15.

Edwards said his bill is geared more toward public works contracts bid out by city councils, school boards and state agencies, such as the construction of a new school or bridge, while Talbot's is aimed at public and private sector employers.

Edwards' bill requires any bidder seeking a public contract to file a sworn affidavit as part of the bid package, binding the firm to use the verification system at the start of the contract and as new workers are hired.

Failure to do so could result in the cancellation of the contract and a possible three-year ban on the firm getting other public contracts.

"I want to make sure you are not paying taxes to an illegal immigrant who is building a public road or a public school or a public bridge," Edwards said.

The prime contractor also must require all subcontractors to verify the legal status of their workers, but each company would monitor its own workers.

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