Governor Pat McCrory vetoed legislation today (HB 786), because it makes it easier for businesses to circumvent federal immigration law, which could allow more illegal immigrants to be hired in North Carolina industries.
"This legislation has a loophole that would allow businesses to exempt a higher percentage of their employees from proving they are legal U.S. citizens or residents," Governor McCrory said. "Every job an illegal immigrant takes is one less job available for a legal North Carolina citizen. We must do everything we can to help protect jobs for North Carolinians first and foremost."
Under current law, seasonal workers are given an exemption from E-Verify screening. E-Verify is designed to determine an employee's or applicant's legal status. The legislation sent to Governor McCrory expanded the definition of a seasonal worker from 90 days to nearly nine months.
Governor McCrory said increasing the 90-day exemption would also open the "seasonal" exemption to many industries other than agriculture.
"This bill would make it easier to hire illegal immigrants" Governor McCrory said. "My job is to enforce state and federal law and to uphold the U.S. Constitution and I will use every tool necessary to do that and protect North Carolina jobs."
Governor McCrory recommended the entire bill be studied including the definition of a seasonal worker. No funds were provided to conduct the study -- a fiscally irresponsible approach.
However, the bill's negative impact on legal North Carolina workers is the prime reason Governor McCrory said he vetoed the bill.
"We need to grow the economy, but not at the expense of North Carolina's jobs. We need to verify that people working in North Carolina are doing so legally."