The Associated Press
DENVER — Attorneys for Oklahoma went before a federal appeals court Monday to defend a law that requires companies doing business with the state to use a federal database to verify their workers and contractors are eligible to work in the U.S.
Sections of the law were blocked by a federal judge in Oklahoma in June after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others challenged it, saying the “E-Verify” program is unreliable and unfairly imposes penalties on employers.
State attorneys told a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday that Congress didn’t bar states from requiring employers to use E-Verify.
The appeals court judges did not indicate when they might rule.
The electronic system allows employers to quickly verify a worker’s eligibility through a computer with an Internet connection using information from an I-9 form, which is a required from everybody working in the U.S.
“Isn’t it a lot simpler” to used the computer system instead of a paper form that takes days to mail, Judge Paul J. Kelly quizzed Carter Phillips, an attorney representing the chamber. “Isn’t it the same database?”
“I don’t understand what the big problem is, quite frankly,” Kelly said.
Congress created E-Verify as part of an immigration bill in 1996 as four-year pilot program in five states, but later expanded it to all 50 states in 2003. Most states don’t require employers to use it.
“Congress did not speak to what states could do,” argued Dan Weitman, Oklahoma assistant attorney general.
The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit last year upheld Arizona’s law that made E-Verify a requirement for all employers, ruling that “Congress could have, but did not, expressly forbid state laws from requiring ‘E-Verify’ participation.”
The Associated Press
- State News
Oklahoma petition for medical marijuana signing up thousands of new voters
Medical marijuana may be the state's newest gateway drug -- to voting.
Miners earn top seed in district American Legion tourney
The Joplin Miners are the No. 1 seed for this week’s Triple-A District 15 Tournament at Carl Junction.
Rep. Reiboldt withdraws from debate about farming amendment
Southwest Missouri Democrats on Wednesday will sponsor a program on the Right to Farm Amendment, but it unclear if there will be a debate on the measure.
Oklahoma lawmaker not upset by convict’s delayed death
State Rep. Brian Renegar, D-McAlester, said his thoughts turned to Clayton Lockett’s murder victim when he learned Lockett had died of a heart attack shortly after his formal execution was halted because of problems with the lethal drug injection process.
Oklahoma governor orders review of failed execution
Gov. Mary Fallin ordered a thorough review Wednesday of the botched lethal drug execution of a convicted murderer that left him writhing and grunting. But the governor said executions will continue in Oklahoma, and the review by the state Department of Public Safety is to determine if medical and other protocols were followed in the failed execution of Clayton D. Lockett.
Party on? No local love in Princeton Review rankings
There's no love for Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University or Crowder College in the new rankings issued by the Princeton Review. Which, given many of the survey categories, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Gov. Nixon declares state of emergency in Missouri
Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to severe winter weather that began early this morning, bringing hazardous travel and the possibility of power outages.
Publicist: Andy Williams dies
According to a publicist, Emmy-winning TV host and 'Moon River' crooner Andy Williams has died.
Lions climb into share of MIAA men's basketball lead
Without taking the floor, Missouri Southern has climbed into a first-place tie in the MIAA men’s basketball race.
2.6 magnitude earthquake recorded in Oklahoma
The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded a 2.6 magnitude earthquake near Wellston in central Oklahoma.
No injuries or damage is reported.
- More State News Headlines
- Oklahoma petition for medical marijuana signing up thousands of new voters