The Clarion-Ledger, 3/13/8

Gov. Haley Barbour has until Monday to act on a bill that would require companies to make sure all their employees are working legally in Mississippi.

The Republican governor already has indicated he likely will sign Senate Bill 2988. If no action is taken, the bill becomes law by default.

A group of more than 20 immigrant rights advocates gathered under the Capitol dome Wednesday to urge Barbour to consider vetoing the bill.

“This bill will criminalize … workers in Mississippi, and it’s just an injustice,” said Jimena Velasquez, a Jackson resident who was born in Colombia. “This could create a climate where (Latinos) .. could be made felt as if they were not welcome.”

Under the legislation, companies would have to use the voluntary federal program called eVerify to cross reference each of their employees’ information with identification information such as a Social Security number or a work visa.