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Pierce County exec concerned about plan to verify status of workers

Post by David Wickert on Sep. 9, 2009 at 10:53 am with 8 Comments »
September 9, 2009 3:04 pm

If there’s such a thing as a “friendly” veto, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy is wielding it this week.

McCarthy will veto a County Council ordinance that requires private companies that do business with the county to ensure their employees can legally work in the United States

McCarthy does not oppose the program. But she wants changes she says will ensure it works well.

The program requires companies with county contracts to enroll in and use the federal E-Verify program, which allows them to check an employee’s identity against several federal databases. It also requires the county to use the E-Verify program to check the status of its own workers.

The Pierce County initiative is modeled after a similar program adopted by the Lakewood City Council in June. It passed the County Council by a unanimous vote last month.

Since then, questions have arisen about how the program will work in practice, McCarthy told council members at a study session on Tuesday.

McCarthy said the $10,000 contract threshold for the new requirements be too low to be practical. She noted a similar plan adopted in Clark County is limited to contracts worth at least $1 million

McCarthy also is concerned about a requirement that the employee checks be done within three days. She said that may not be possible for some employers.

As a result, McCarthy said she will veto the ordinance and asked the council to address some of the problems before passing another one. She called it a “friendly veto.”

“I’m not against E-Verify,” McCarthy told the council. “But to make it successful, some things need to be addressed.”

Council members wondered why McCarthy didn’t raise the issues before they passed the ordinance. McCarthy said she didn’t know it was coming, though council members noted that her budget and contracting staff were informed and commented on the proposal.

McCarthy agreed to submit a written report detailing her concerns about the E-Verify ordinance. The council will try to redraft the ordinance in the next few weeks.

“If she has questions, we want to see specifics, then we’ll start over again,” said Councilman Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom.

Update: McCarthy’s office sent me a copy of this letter providing more detail on her reasons for vetoing the ordinance.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. I am all for getting ALL ilegals out of the U.S, as long as someone is giving them jobs, free medical, SS and welfare they are not going to leave, if the county executive does not want to bar them fron reciving a county paycheck then the county executive should also be looking for a new job.

  2. ClownPosse says:

    Do all of you have any idea how devastating this would be on Pat’s gardners and pool boys ?

  3. rampoloparent says:

    “I’m not against E-Verify,” McCarthy told the council. “But to make it successful, some things need to be addressed.”

    To make it successful our local governments need to comply! I am amazed at the gall of the executive to go against the rest of the council. Since when is it ok to break the law by using illegals?

  4. donny253 says:

    Once they are gone all those jobs that pay low will have to go up!

  5. Howie says: as long as someone is giving them jobs, free medical, SS and welfare they are not going to leave

    Illegals cannot collect social security.

  6. just obey the law and require all employees to have proof of citizenship it’s easy , simple the right thing to do. We must require that from our local, state , and federal Government unitll this happens there is no way to curbe illegal immagration.

  7. Brittanicus says:

    The only way President Obama has any possibility of passing health care reform, is a commitment to remove illegal immigrants from gaining entrance to any public option? In the health care bill they must–PROVE–to the majority of the American People that–NO ILLEGAL FOREIGN NATIONAL–will be able to bleed the government extension in the package. An amendment to the 1000 page reform bill, must guarantee–IN THE WORDING– that a very thorough background identity check is performed on any applicant who applies? E-Verify would be a progressive identifier, with an initial examination of Social Security number in conjunction with Homeland Security Databases.

    To complete the operation of E-Verification this PC application, must branch out across the country as a permanent tool in business and industry for every worker newly hired or long time employee. Thousands or even millions of illegal workers could be hiding in plain site in the workplace, as they have never been checked as a citizen or legal residency compliance? It also seems that the auditing of 1-9 forms around the country, that the federal authorities forget to mention that irregularities by employers only allows them to dismiss the applicant? The fact is that ICE raids have trailed off, so that any illegal workers–ARE NOT DEPORTED–they can move onto yet another workplace. Anybody who is suspected of being in this sovereign nation illegally should be detained and held for ICE inspection, not released into the public mainstream?

    We all know that Fraudulent ID is so prevalent, that all security systems have been compromised, with even al-Qaeda murderers who brought down three passenger jets. On 9/11 these terrorists had in their possession numerous authentic drivers’ licenses and other picture ID. E-Verify is not perfect and can be cheated, but as it’s modified, collecting more tools to compliment the enforcement program it success rate will become exemplary. Those hired workers who then find themselves under suspicion, can have errors resolved through any Social Security agency. That special interest groups have remained silent about this matter, doesn’t need any explanation? most Americans want enforcement at our borders, the workplace, so contact your reluctant politician at 202-224-3121 MORE HONEST INFORMATION AT NUMBERSUSA & JUDICIAL WATCH. REMEMBER NO MORE BLANKET AMNESTIES!

  8. huskydog says:

    How did this woman get elected to office. It is illegal to work in this country with out proper documentation. You HAVE to produce a SS card and photo Id. If the gov doesnt inforce the law why should anybody obey the law. Oh that right they dont

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