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Pierce council revisits E-Verify requirement for contractors

Post by David Wickert on Sep. 28, 2009 at 2:17 pm with 10 Comments »
September 28, 2009 2:35 pm

The Pierce County Council will try again to pass an ordinance that would require private companies that do business with the county to ensure their employees can legally work in the United States.

The council is considering several changes to address the concerns of County Executive Pat McCarthy, who vetoed a similar proposal earlier this month.

McCarthy told the council she favors the goal of requiring private contractors to verify the legal working status of their employees. But she requested several changes that she said would make it work properly.

If the council and executive approve an ordinance, companies that contract with the county would have to enroll in and use the federal government’s E-Verify program. That program allows employers to check the identity of employees against several federal databases to ensure they are legally allowed to work in the United States.

In August the council unanimously passed an ordinance that would have required any company with a county contract worth at least $10,000 to participate in the E-Verify program. McCarthy vetoed the measure.

A new proposal considered Monday by the council’s rules committee tries to address some of McCarthy’s concerns by exempting certain contractors.

It would exempt companies that provide legal, banking and some other services. It would exempt companies that are the sole provider of products like software or chemicals. And it would exempt public utilities and government agencies.

But the council and executive are still at odds over the minimum contract size that would trigger E-Verify enrollment. The council’s latest proposal would raise the threshold from $10,000 to $25,000.

But county purchasing agent Ken Matthews told the rules committee Monday the $25,000 threshold is “far too low.” He said McCarthy wants a threshold of $250,000.

Matthews estimated the $250,000 threshold would exempt about 60 percent of county contracts from the E-Verify program requirement.

That didn’t fly with Councilman Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, who has been pushing the E-Verify ordinance.

“It really should be a zero threshold,” Muri said, though he indicated he was willing to go up to $25,000.

The rules committee postponed action on the ordinance until next Monday. Final council approval is scheduled for Oct. 6.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. PolarBear53 says:

    And rightly so……

  2. Good requirement, but doesn’t the Federal law to have a completed form I-9 meet this requirement.

  3. johnesherman says:

    Let’s hope Pierce County will pay their fair share for this E-Verify program use; as a result, it will not be funded or wasting funds within the Social Security System that is already a little short of money today and more broke tomorrow. So, how much money is Pierce County willing to contribute to use of this E-Verify system’s installation, operation, and maintenance?

    See, Basic Pilot / E-Verify Why Mandatory Employer Participation Will Hurt Workers, Businesses, and the Struggling U.S. Economy

  4. I agree with Dick Muri. There should be a zero threshold. What is the point of the measure if you are going to load it with exemptions? All you are doing is creating more “red tape” that uses FTE’s (employee hours) to maintain increasing the cost of the process. You are also creating tens of thousands in legal costs because the measure is sure to get challenged with multiple exemptions and everyone claiming they qualify. Either Pierce County contracts go to vendors that operate LEGALLY or Pierce County will choose to tolerate less than legitimate vendors that can underbid projects due to their questionable activities. It really is that simple of a decision. If it’s not that easy, then the County already has questionable practices. Maybe take a look at County employees and people receiving benefits that are paid for by Pierce County. Shouldn’t the County be held to the same expectation as its vendors? I could keep going, but I’ll stop for now.

  5. David Wickert says:

    Exidor, the proposed ordinance also would require the county to use the E-Verify program.

  6. tacomabefore says:

    Sounds like a witch hunt to me. Aren’t there bigger fish to fry?

  7. “It would exempt companies that provide legal, banking and some other services. It would exempt companies that are the sole provider of products like software or chemicals. And it would exempt public utilities and government agencies.”

    No exemptions. Since the county wants to be xenophobic then everyone should have to prove they are citizens. Inconvenience everybody. With the County money crisis, I can’t believe they are ready for the lawsuits from wrongful termination because of a mismatch. This won’t be pretty.

  8. Brittanicus says:

    Our government panders to the 20 to 30 plus (?) illegal immigrants allowing them free subsidies from taxpayers in the US. California–a Sanctuary State has one of the worst records that currently languish under the immense burden of near bankruptcy, instead of –ATTRACTING–ICE to illegal business operations. Why wouldn’t certain legislators want health care for foreign labor, because they have an over abundance of illegal immigrant families to financially support? Our own government is so absorbed in protecting every other countries border? They remain unconcerned to our poor replica border fence that should have been a two-tier periphery, with border patrol surveillance lanes in between, as originally planned by Rep. Duncan Hunter. Every time a good enforcement plan is written, it’s methodically cut to pieces by pro-illegal worker politicians and open border fanatics. Though we spend billions on our armed forces in foreign lands, the rich countries in Europe just forward token troops and little money: while our nation is literary falling apart at the seams–or its rivets?

    Any moment now I expect to hear of yet another collapsing ailing city bridge, deteriorating waterworks, the underground pipes and eroding highway. Our cities are already exhibiting inward decay, but years of neglect by the very people who’s supposed to protect us do nothing? I have reiterated watch “The Crumbling of America” on the History (International) channel in the next few weeks and learn? This is where your tax dollars should be going? We must not allow the Administration as in previous times keep sending our precious tax dollars to other countries. These politicians are deaf, dumb and intentionally blind to the rigors our industrial nation is going through. Not just Democrats, but the Republicans have had their sticky fingers in the bad apple–SPECIAL INTEREST–barrel, where money is plentiful. It’s like they are intentionally trying to turn our magnificent country into a third world nation, while making other cheap labor countries, on an even par with our sovereign society as US wages tumble? Then Again the Council of Foreign Relations have been amplifying its agenda of free movement of cheap labor through North America for years?

    Most of these other lands have been at each others throats for centuries, so why do we expect any metamorphism into something any different? Only change can come from within, not by our nation expending billions of dollars, American lives? We must build our own borders fences, tall and strong and meant to keep out drug dealers, criminal aliens, terrorists and the never ending tracks of illegal aliens. Our politician’s noses are involved in too much foreign policy, while our aging infrastructure implodes. Trillions of dollars are spirited out the country, while we gain little in return. Washington–MUST–start giving back to the jobless American worker by placing a 5 year moratorium on all immigration, even legal? The next politicians should deliver us from any new sinister path to citizenship or better referred to as BLANKET AMNESTY? Follow the “Rule of Law” and not twist it into something else for their own convenience, as it will come back to haunt them at the voting booth. Unless ACORN steps-in with another fed contract and handles sign-ups for the ballot box? In that case will still see absentee ballots for the deceased people, pets and anybody who has learned that you need no government picture ID to sign on to vote.

    The 1986 immigration reform bill dismally failed last time and all we inherited was 5 million illegal immigrants that still keep on coming with their impoverished hands out. Anti-Illegal immigrant forces are growing in numbers to stop another travesty. They acknowledge it could end up costing billions, perhaps even trillions of dollars. Nationwide we have seen the advent of closing hospitals and emergency rooms that have been submerged everyday by swarms by penniless foreigners and their families. Yes! We need health care reform. Americans are dying, going bankrupt , falling under the spell of debt collectors. The special interest lobbyists are causing mass hysteria by lying to the people. Many insurance companies are under this bombardment in television, radio and mass media. Their Status quo wants no change to their profits or high flying CEO’s making millions of dollars. on patients backs? I want health care reform, for the sake of my step daughter who died of Cancer, because the insurers said it was a pre-existing condition and they couldn’t continue to insure her?

    It has become an enigma–THAT THE EMPLOYERS WHO HIRE THEM-LEAVE THE MAJORITY OF SICK PEOPLE ON THE STEPS OF EMERGENCY ROOMS. SO THAT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY ENDS THERE? THEY DRIVE AWAY WITH A CLEAR CONSCIOUS? THEN IS LEFT FOR THE TAXPAYERS CHECK BOOK TO PAY THE BILL? THOSE EMPLOYERS SHOULD BE HUNTED DOWN AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR EVERY CENT. We have already been warned by the census bureau of overpopulation in the not too distant future. WE now have a very unique deterrent called E-Verify, that is a part of the SAVE ACT and our lawmakers should stop procrastinating and make it permanent for every worker? Washington knows their walking on quicksand, if the try to under fund or spirit away E-Verify this time around? The corrupting influences from the special interest lobby, have failed to induce many lawmakers to table E-Verify. In our future it could have many other uses other than extracting unauthorized labor from the workplace. Once fully installed it could check state drivers license applicants, insurance, school and higher education registrations and hospital admittances.

    Americans have been unknowingly paying taxes to underwrite subsidies for the illegal population for decades. This is the biggest draw to American jobs, because the employers who hire them are sentient that taxpayers will foot the bills for education, health food stamps, housing and other government benefit consignments that even as citizens are denied. Keep the phone calls coming at 202-224-3121 LOOK FOR ANSWERS AT NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH & OVERPOPULATION AT CAPSWEB? These websites can identity politicians who actually work for the American people and others whose immigration grading level is unsatisfactory to stay in office? Have you heard about any large ICE raids lately? ICE got the order to cease and desist from the motley Democratic leadership. They are also using their influence to either weaken the federal training program 287 G that gives local police federal right to hold for questioning suspicious individual’s immigration status and to rescind the no-match-letter capability in determining a person’s right to work?

  9. OutSydeDog says:

    I worked for a company a few years ago that paid it’s workers around $15 an hour, if they worked. We were begging for workers. Then we advertised in a Hispanic paper and got lots of applicants. All of them legal, according to their documentation. As a true American, all I can say is “Welcome to America, the “Irish” of the new milenium”. If this new rule they want to put in place costs one additional tax dollar to enact, then can it. We have bigger fish to fry.

  10. BlueRacer says:

    Zero threshold, zero exemptions.

    Anyone who signs a lease with Pierce County must agree to pay the prevailing wage to any workers on the premises. If we want to keep the prevailing wage high, then we shouldn’t flood the market with undocumented workers.

    Also, private employers are required to participate in E-Verify, right? The county should abide by the same Federal employment laws that private employers must follow.

    E-Verify is a simple and free process. It’s easy. Enact the ordinance.

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