Gov. Heineman Signs Bill Prohibiting Illegal Immigrants from Receiving Benefits
Gov. Dave Heineman today signed LB 403 into law. The bill prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving state and local benefits by requiring state and local governments to verify that any person applying for benefits is in the United States legally. It was introduced at the Governor's request by Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber.
"This bill ensures state and local benefits go to those who truly qualify," Gov. Heineman said. "I want to thank senators for their leadership and for the time they've dedicated to this issue. This is an important step for Nebraska. We still need the federal government to address the problem of illegal immigration in a comprehensive manner."
LB 403 also requires employers who receive state or local contracts and tax incentives to electronically verify the work status of all new-hired employees. It takes effect Oct. 1.
Sen. Karpisek said, "The basic reasoning behind this bill is to ensure that Nebraska taxpayers' money is not spent on services for people who are not in the state legally."
The bill outlines a process agencies will use to verify eligibility. Those applying for public benefits must first attest that they are either a citizen or an alien able to work in the U.S. Government entities are to verify the immigration status of aliens using the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program. The web-based program allows government entities to verify whether an individual is in the U.S. lawfully.
In addition, public entities, contractors for public projects, and businesses qualifying for state tax incentive programs will also be required to verify legal status of newly-hired employees using the federal E-Verify system, which is made available to employers by DHS. No fees are charged for accessing the E-Verify database.