The Governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine, recently signed two bills, HB 926 (Chapter 588) and SB 782 (Chapter 770), which provide severe penalties for employers who hire or continue to employ illegal aliens. The legislation provides that the authority of certain business entities, including foreign and domestic corporations, limited liability companies, business trusts, and limited partnerships, to operate in Virginia may be terminated involuntarily or revoked if the business entity is convicted of hiring or continuing to employ illegal aliens. Under this law, a business entity whose authority to operate in Virginia is terminated or revoked is not eligible to have that authority reinstated for at least a year. This legislation will go into effect as of July 1, 2008 and is just one of several bills that have been introduced in the Virginia General Assembly aimed towards immigration reform.
The new law will likely be subjected to legal challenge. In addition, it remains to be seen how aggressive Virginia will be in enforcing the law. If strictly enforced, these potential penalties make it absolutely imperative that employers doing business in Virginia ensure that they are not hiring or employing illegal aliens. Loss of authority to do business in Virginia would effectively put that company out of business in the state.