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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Thousands of smaller businesses are going to have to start checking the immigration status of new hires under a state law approved two years ago.

The Charlotte Observer reports (http://bit.ly/19NgwYa ) that the law on Monday extends to include companies that employ 25 people or more. Employers must use the federal government's E-Verify system to prevent people living in the country illegally from landing jobs.

The Internet-based system allows an employer to enter a worker's name, Social Security number, address and birth date to match it with other federal data.

Employees whose names are flagged have eight days to appeal. A company that continues to employ someone deemed ineligible will be warned, then fined by the state Labor Department.

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