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RICHMOND — Virginia lawmakers considered dozens of measures aimed at illegal immigrants during the legislative session that just drew to a close, but few survived the legislative process.
Two that did are SB1049 in the Senate and an identical House bill, HB1859. If signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell, the measures will require companies doing business with the state to use E-Verify, a federal electronic program designed to make sure new employees are legal residents.
The legislation applies only to companies with more than 50 employees and contracts worth more than $50,000.
Del. Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) tried to amend the legislation to cover all businesses contracting with state or local public bodies, regardless of the number of employees or the size of the contract.
Dissenting lawmakers warned that the broader version of the bill would unduly burden small businesses and strain the E-Verify system past its capacity.
Jackson’s amendments were rejected by a Senate-House conference committee.
The legislation takes effect Dec. 1, 2013, giving companies nearly three years to gear up for the program. A company that fails to comply can be barred from contracting with the government for up to one year.