A business lobby group wraps up a series of seminars advising its members how to avoid running afoul of immigration laws through the hiring of illegal aliens. The last of four Associated Industries of Missouri gatherings was held in Jefferson City following earlier meetings in Clayton, Springfield, and Independence.
AIM President Gary Marble says the meetings were in response to members who have concerns the anti-illegal immigration backlash could end up hurting employers. Marble says employers are advised to comply with all laws regarding employment and immigration, but he concedes it is not easy to do that as the laws are complicated.
As for going after employers, Marble says it’s one thing to target an employer who knowingly breaks the law, but believes it’s quite another to target an employer who has been duped though a forged document or some similar deception. He says an employer should not be held responsible for something that was not known ahead of time.
Marble also expresses concerns with an immigration bill currently before the State Senate. SB 348 – the Missouri Omnibus Immigration Act – would require employers to verify the status of would-be employees by using the Department of Homeland Security ‘s Basic Employment Verification Program. Marble says the Pilot Program has flaws, adding employers should only be required to use a system works and works well.