Huber’s No Nonsense Stance on Immigration

Huber proposes no-nonsense Immigration ordinance for city

Simi Valley, CA (7/19/2010):  As mayor, Bob Huber will introduce an ordinance requiring every company that does business with the City of Simi Valley and every business that applies for a business permit in Simi Valley to use E-Verify to ensure every employee has a legal right to work in the United States.

Under the ordinance, all city employees would also be screened by E-verify.

By doing so, Simi Valley will join Lancaster, Palmdale, Mission Viejo, Temecula and other California cities and numerous states in reserving jobs for those who have a legal right to work.

“It is really not clear why the City has not taken this simple step to protect jobs in Simi Valley for hard-working and law-abiding citizens,” Huber said.  “E-Verify is virtually fail-safe, simple and cost-free to employers.”

E-verify is an easy-to-use, Internet based system that compares a person’s name with his or her Social Security number and birth date.  Employers would submit a new employee’s name, birth date and Social Security number to the federal government where it is screened through the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases.  If the check reveals a mismatch, the employee would have 60 days to clear up the discrepancy or be terminated.

“One of the reasons I like E-Verify is that it eliminates racial profiling from the process,” Huber said.  “The computer doesn’t care what race, color, creed or gender a worker is.  It only cares that a person’s name and Social Security number match.”

It also eliminates the use of counterfeit documents prevalent through the use of 1-9 forms, which the city now requires under federal law.  Documents meant to prove citizenry that are submitted with the 1-9 form are not checked through any database.  In fact, in the words of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Service, employers only need “to certify that the documents presented reasonably appear (on their face) to be genuine and to relate to the individual.”  Forgery is commonplace.

More than 192,000 participating employers at more than 705,000 worksites nationwide currently use E-Verify to electronically verify their worker’s employment eligibility.

Huber’s E-Verify proposal is the first in a series of public positions he will unveil in the coming months that are vital to making Simi Valley a better place to live and raise our families but that have not been considered by the current City Council or that have not received the attention the importance of the issue requires.

Huber has a long record of innovation.  As a member of the Simi Valley City Council from 1980-1984, Huber initiated the City’s Fiscal Protection Advisory Committee; the City’s affordable Housing Committee; the City’s Tree Preservation Ordinance; and the official City Historian position.  As a trustee of the Ventura County Community College District, where he now serves as Chair of the Board, Huber initiated the “District Wide Emergency Response” for all three Community Colleges to protect the students after the Virginia Tech tragedy in 2007.  The VCCCD was the first in the state to implement such an emergency program and received a special commendation form the State Chancellor’s office.

86 thoughts on “Huber’s No Nonsense Stance on Immigration

  1. Honest Abe is absolutely correct. E-Verify is not all what it is cracked up to be. Furthermore, earlier this year, the City Council requested staff to review the feasibility of using the E-Verify website to ensure that employees hired by City Contractors are legally authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration. The system allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to determine if that employee is legally eligible to work in the United States.
    The City of Simi Valley does not require E-Verify bu7t currently maintains language within the City’s standard contract titled “Obligation of the Contractor”. This section requires City contractors and subcontractors engaged in the performance of a City contract (regardless of the funding source) to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States. The cities of Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Paula, and the County of Ventura have indicated they do not include the E-Verify requirement in their contract documents at this time. Also, the State of California is not requiring the use of E-Verify.
    City staff discovered that the cities of Lancaster and Mission Viejo do include a clause in their contract language requiring that employers verify employment eligibility through the E-Verify system. However, when contacted neither City was able to provide a complete evaluation of the program since it was relatively new, and sufficient historical data was not available.
    City staff also found that an evaluation of the E-Verify system was mixed. An independent evaluation by Westat, a Maryland-based social science research firm under contract to U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services report that 95% of potential employees were found to be eligible to work in the United States. However, other reports indicate that E-Verify WRONGLY AUTHORIZED ILLEGAL WORKERS ABOUT 54% OF THE TIME BECAUSE IT CANNOT DETERMINE IDENTITY FRAUD, WHICH IS A FLAW OF THE SYSTEM.
    At the conclusion of the staff report, staff recommended continuing to monitor the E-Verify program for its potential use at a later time should it be warranted or becomes the standard. It was the belief of city staff that the City’s current contract language already requites contractors to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States.
    The City Council is so far ahead of the curve on this issue it’s yesterdays news.

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  2. Mike C I have a question for you: Are you saying that all the states you listed above are using E-Verify? If that is the case why are they still having a problems with illegal immigration? I think the proof is in the pudding. It’s not reliable..yet. That’s why the City Council is waiting for all the bugs to be worked out. It’s campaign time, doesn’t mean we can go banana’s and not think things through.

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  3. Morning Mike,
    Ok, lets see if I can answer some of your questions in one take here:
    Starting with the last blog first:
    I don’t have the date off hand as to when the Council directed staff to get back with us on using E-Verify, I am thinking it was perhaps the end of 2009. No the Council did not ask the residents what they thought about it.
    Do I think the current system is working? What system are you talking about? If it is the Federal Governments system you are talking about, absoutely not. I think it is in a shambles and I support Arizona 100%.
    However, I don’t want to utilize E-Verify if all the wrinkles aren’t ironed out. There has never bee a time the Council has ever settled for “good enough” we are always striving to come up with a better solution.

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  4. Huber’s proposal is neither innovative, nor well researched.

    The City Council already asked for research into the E-Verify matter, and the City’s consideration of the federal government program remains under consideration, though at the moment no action is planned immediately. For good reason. It is just inconclusive whether E-Verify works well enough to apply it to every single new employee. Just one single error can be very, very costly to a municipal entity.

    The City Council has been monitoring E-Verify for months, and the City basically is in a “watch” mode. Which is understandable, considering only a handful of cities in this state engage it. The State of California and the Ventura County Community College District do not use it. And we should ask, do most voters wish to be just like Lancaster and Palmdale?

    City research so far revealed that “evaluation of the E-Verify program was mixed,” noting among other findings that some reports note “E-Verify wrongly authorizes illegal workers about 54% of the time because it cannot identify identity fraud.”

    At this point the City Council already has begun the process of vetting E-Verify. Anyone considering a system that could state, wrongly, that you or I are illegal immigrants should very carefully research and monitor before implementation. A good lawyer understands the considerable risk management element.

    Anyone who called me an illegal immigrant, and denied me a job because of such, better be ready for Hell on Earth. Likewise for the politician who approved any program that would make such an erroneous determination.

    You would figure that a lawyer like Huber would have done his research before kicking in doors guns a-blazin’. No supposition here on the reason for this. This also does not explain Huber’s position that any business getting a business license through the City should have to go through E-Verify for hiring practices. That element of his proposal is questionable; private businesses should be allowed to choose their own screening processes and not be forced by government to use one system (which happens to be a government system). That very stance is anti-business, under the liberal stance that government knows best. Someone stated earlier that Mr. Huber’s position is an assault on the local business community, and I have to agree.

    The Council brought up E-Verify in May. Here is a June 2, 2010, staff memorandum responding to the City Council’s inquiry:

    “Earlier this year, the City Council requested staff to review the feasibility of using the E-Verify website to ensure that employees hired by City contractors are legally authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration. The system allows an employer, using information reported on an employee’s Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9), to determine if that employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. For most employers, the use of E-Verify is voluntary and limited to determining the employment of eligibility of new hires only.

    The City does not require E-Verify but currently maintains language within the City’s standard contract titled “Obligation of the CONTRACTOR”. This section requires City contractors and subcontractors engaged in the performance of a City project (regardless of the funding source) to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States. The Cities of Thousand Oaks, Camarillo, Ventura, Santa Paula and the County of Ventura have indicated they do not include the E-Verify requirement in their contract documents at this time. Also, the State of California is not requiring the use of E-Verify.

    Staff discovered that the Cities of Lancaster and Mission Viejo do include a clause in their contract language requiring that employers verify employment eligibility through the E-Verify system. However, when contacted neither City was able to provide a complete evaluation of the program since it was relatively new, and sufficient historical data was not available.

    Staff also found that an evaluation of the E-Verify system was mixed. An independent evaluation by Westat, a Maryland-based social science research firm under contract to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, reports that 96% of potential employees were found to be eligible to work in the United States. However, other reports indicate that E-Verify wrongly authorizes illegal workers about 54% of the time because it cannot determine identity fraud, which is a flaw of the system.

    Staff recommends continuing to monitor the E-Verify program for its potential use at a later time should it be warranted or becomes the standard. Staff believes the City’s current contract language already requires contractors to employ only persons that are authorized to work in the United States.”

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  5. Hey Al,

    Your aurgument is completely illogical. You site that “E-Verify wrongly authorizes illegal workers about 54% of the time because it cannot identify identity fraud.” which means that the system errors on the side of the illegal workers

    So exactly why are you paranoid that anyone would call you an illegal and deny you work? Those are contradictory statements.

    I guess this discussion at least shows us a huge difference between the candidates. Current Council Member Sojka obviously does not support E Verify and Huber does. Now lets see where they stand on the dump expansion that no one on the Council, besides Barbra wants to discuss.

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  6. Paul,
    Sorry, but I am not aware of Steve Sojka making a statement about his not supporting E-Verify. He may have said he’s waiting for more information, but that certainly doesn’t say he’s in opposition. Being elected (like Sojka) means you have to be a little more careful when passing a law, being a candidate (like Huber) allows you to make a quick judgement with out having any responsibility. There is a hugh difference, wouldn’t you agree?

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  7. Paul,

    The system also has been shown to state that legal citizens are illegal. Until this has been fixed, it should be engaged by no government agency. Period.

    Let’s put you through the system, and have it say that you are an illegal alien. Explain how you would feel.

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  8. So you say throw that 1% to the wolves? What if that was someone in YOUR family..then that 1% becomes really important and just reading some of your comments, I suspect you would come unglued if this happened to one of your family members.

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  9. I am still saying that if that .1% was in your family you would cry foul! Regardless if you had a social security card or a birth certificate, heaven knows those are never forged. Look, this is like beating a dead horse. If Huber has a plan for E-Verify, good for him. All I am saying is the Council addressed this, long before Mr. Huber’s press release, and decided to wait until the wrinkles are worked out.

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  10. What? You don’t like the idea that the City Council was way out front on this BEFORE Mr. Huber? Is that the problem? Well then, of course it makes no sense…because then Huber can’t take the credit. And that’s really what this is all about, isn’t it?

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  11. Mike C have you NOT seen Williamson and Sojka sparring before? I guess you have not seen that Williamson openly opposed and voted against the city loan program. If your trying to say she doesn’t stand up against her fellow council members, your barking up the wrong tree.

    A lot of this crap is about labels. Simi Valley has enough PR challenges without having to be the city that flips the bird to the fed to fight immigration at the local level. God damn, this is going to really start freeing up jobs without labeling our city as the back water rednecks who freed Rodney Kings abusers, right? wrong!! The city didn’t discuss it openly and didn’t make it a requirement for city businesses because maybe they just didn’t want all the press that would come with it.

    Fight that immigration Huber! Fight on! You know what’s good for the city! Fight that Simi Valley immigration problem!! Save our city! Stupid ass politician.

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  12. Mike,
    Actaully I’ve opposed several thing. Yes the loan program, but also the Shop Simi Valley (althought it is doing gang-busters from what I am reading in the news paper)I opposed the smiley face project, I oppose the expansion of the landfill, I opposed the development at the corner of Royal & Corto,just to name a few, so to say I don’t disagree with my fellow council members only tells me you’re out of touch with what the City Council actually does.
    Yes, I believe E-Verfy is good for Simi Valley…when, as I said, all the bugs are worked out.

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  13. This is just a common sense thing. You can just look at a Drivers License (I9) or you can check with the DMV (EVerify) to ensure that everything seems to be ok.

    Nothing will be 100%, so waiting is a waste and even if it does not catch 100%, it will catch some and cause others to not apply. It is free to the user (yes, tax payers pay, but we pay even if it is not used).

    So, the simple question, why not use it now? Please give a valid reason, not excuses.

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  14. EVerify will be good for business – the fake identification document business. Once a city or community mandates its use, word gets around (thanks for all the free PR!), and businesses that create fake driver’s licenses and social security cards THRIVE! Because EVerify has a great flaw: it cannot detect identify fraud. (That’s the 54% number that Mr. Huber so conveniently ignored in his newspaper ad).

    Get in the fake ID business now! It’s tax-free!! Remember how Prohibition stopped people from drinking alcohol! HAHAHA!!

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  15. Even if EVerify does not catch certain things it is far better than not checking at all. Currently the I9 form is just filled out and nothing is done with it.

    If EVerify does not confirm that the address listed on the drivers license does not match the DMV record, it can be changed to do so. The I9 paper form can not check that at all.

    It just seems that some people don’t want the information checked at all.

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  16. That’s fine, as long as the City is ready to increase its budget to fund the extra personnel needed to enter information from ID cards into the system, run audits periodically to ensure the process is being followed correctly (if not, why use it at all?), and most importantly, to set up a reserve fund for lawsuits. One city back east set aside $800,000 to combat expected lawsuits at the exact moment they approved using EVerify. The person who proposed its usage proposed that amount. They expect to be sued by using EVerify.

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  17. Nice scare tactic. Under what legal basis is there to sue for using Everify to confirm the documents that are already required by law (I9)? Were there lawsuit when the police checked the drivers license with the DMV when a person is stopped?

    So tell me, how much has that city spent on lawsuits?

    Perhaps you also need to consider the savings by dealing with issues sooner, rather than later.

    Why are you claiming that the city needs more people? The I9 needs to be filled out already, so it is just a matter when the city hires a person that the information be checked.

    I guess the police should only look at a drivers license and employers should not bother to check any of the paperwork of new employees. Maybe the police should not even look at the drivers license at all, it would save a lot of time and effort if they didn’t.

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  18. Very simple, Ken. People sue the City for all kinds of silly reasons, like for not having bicycle lanes in certain places – or even for having them. Gave a bike rider a false sense of security, you know? Maybe a speed limit was not posted, or it was but it was not posted correctly, or how a personal injury lawyer wanted it posted. With EVerify, some human will have to take ID cards and enter information into a computer, and click Send. Mistakes will be made. Then someone will be denied a job, or, worse, they will be told they are not a legal citizen when in fact they are. And they are going to be pissed.

    Please offer your commentary on the extent of THAT lawsuit.

    There is a City back east that budgets $800,000 annually to cover legal costs anticipated by initiating the use of EVerify.

    Do you want to go on the record that humans do not make mistakes when typing information into computers? Or, that new prospective employees are going to skip the middleman (a City employee) and “swipe” their drivers licenses and SS cards through a computer? What about lawsuits against all the businesses in town that are going to be required to use EVerify, as part of the proposal by one of the candidates in this race? Those businesses then, if mistakes are made, could sue the City, because the City passed the EVerify mandate. It’s quite the Pandora’s box to open.

    Other cities, like Lancaster, already are quoted in media publications stating they have not figured out how to audit the program. They passed it so fast, for political expediency (sound familiar?), they did not study all of its ramifications well enough. Still others are trying to figure out the appeals process for when mistakes are made. Who’s going to handle the appeals? There are budget considerations involved, like it or not.

    All of this does not even get into the fact that the EVerify program relies on the ID cards handed to the employees to enter into the EVerify computer system. If those cards are fraudulent in the first place — if the prospective employees committed identity fraud and are holding information of legal citizens — EVerify does nothing. EVerify comes back and states they are legally permitted to work here. That’s the 54% problem rate cited my the Mayor in his first letter; and the figure Mr. Huber conveniently avoided in his newspaper advertisement.

    Once people know they have to go through EVerify to get a job somewhere, they know they have to have the right identification documents. Just get them before you go in.

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  19. Yes, there are bogus lawsuits, but you did not answer the question.

    You resort to a lot of emotional arguments, but I see little real fact in your response. You seem to think that the I9 is good enough, but the information is not verified at all. That makes it easier for identity theft and can delay finding out longer.

    If the response back from EVerify is negative, that does not mean that the employee would be fired, just that the information needs to be looked into closer.

    You ignore how many illegal workers will not apply out of fear of getting caught.

    Yes, people do make mistakes, but do you really think that you should do nothing because of that? As I have said before, Everify is much like the difference between just looking at a drivers license and checking with the DMV to ensure that it is valid. If the address does not match, then there is good reason to question what the story is.

    If you support illegal workers, then Everify is a bad thing. While it is not 100%, it is better than doing nothing. Perhaps you just want to defend a lack of action on this matter by the City Council.

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  20. Ken, do you have data about how many illegal workers now work for the City of Simi Valley? Are we debating a problem that actually exists? Or, one that was invented solely for political opportunism purposes?

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  21. How many students aren’t getting into classes at Moorpark College this fall because illegal immigrants got in because there is no screening mechanism whatsoever to prevent it?

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  22. Mike C., the more you write, the more ignorant you prove yourself to be. “it costs money to go to College ,you don’t get paid” is the reason you cite for an illegal immigrant not to attend a community college? So all illegal immigrants don’t have the money to attend a community college, or they won’t attend because they won’t be paid to do so?

    Whoa boy, keep drinking Bigot Bob’s Special Soda.

    While you’re at it, please enroll in an English class and learn about capitalization, the proper use of hyphens, and the difference between they’re and their.

    That is, if you can get into a class, now that the College District has laid off 144 workers in just one year while at the same time approving the expenditure of $800,000 to fight a single legal case against a former coach, which could have been handled entirely by the District Attorney’s office. Great management of taxpayer funds there.

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  23. Peter, I guess you do not want to answer questions. Perhaps you think that illegal workers are not a problem so that we, as a community, should do nothing about it. Others do not agree with you.

    Since the paperwork is not really checked when you fill out an I9, it is hard to say if there are illegal workers or not, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t take action.

    Again, do you think that the police should just look at a drivers license or do you think that they should check with the DMV?

    Answer the question, what does it hurt to use EVerify? Now, if you want to protect illegal workers, I can understand why you would not want to use it, but then you are supporting illegal activity.

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  24. Ken, I moved on because I’m not certain you’re altogether there. But since you asked kindly, here you go. First, since police have nothing to do with EVerify at all, I’ll skip that. Illegal workers are a problem, and the federal government needs to better enforce the laws we have in place to prevent illegal immigration in the first place. We as a community should insist the feds do a better job, and if that means getting a better Congressman, perhaps that’s the route. Does it hurt to use EVerify now? Quite possibly very much so, because comparatively very few cities use it. There’s no data. There is data to show EVerify cannot detect ID fraud; and there are a lot of news stories I can provide you with showing how easy it is to get fake identification documents, which can be used to get by EVerify.

    Do me a favor before responding. Make a list of all the cities in California that have approved using EVerify, then post that along with the total number of cities in this state.

    When you do, I’ll post links to stories of liability issues with EVerify, even though your comments indicate you do not care how much the program could cost Simi Valley taxpayers. I don’t have time at the moment to do it right now.

    It has nothing at all to do with protecting illegal workers. It would be wonderful to snap my fingers and make them go away, and have a program that prevents them from getting jobs in Simi Valley. This has to do with weighing this particular program diligently, doing it correctly, and for the right reasons – not just for political and self-promotional purposes. This particular program in my mind is flawed, perhaps greatly so, and is being rushed for the benefit of an opportunistic few.

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  25. Even the top newspaper in Arizona does not believe EVerify does much:

    The Arizona Republic (Phoenix)

    August 23, 2010 Monday

    ID system is key to real reform

    SECTION: OPINIONS; Pg. B6

    An effective way to curb illegal immigration is to shut off access to jobs. But that’s not easy with current laws and policies.

    The challenges were outlined by Republic reporter Jahna Berry in a recent story that demonstrated how easy it can be for illegal workers to skirt the rules and how difficult it can be for employers to detect fraud.

    This makes it hard to impose tough sanctions on employers who hire the undocumented because it is difficult to prove they did it on purpose.

    Without those two elements — reliable verification and tough employer sanctions — the jobs magnet remains strong.

    Solution? An effective identification system and meaningful consequences for employers who don’t use it.

    Worker verification was built into the 1986 immigration reform signed by President Ronald Reagan. But it didn’t work, and illegal immigration continued.

    The I-9 system created by the 1986 reform — and still in use — requires employers to ask for documents that can be easily forged. Employers are not experts at detecting such things. Nor are they — or should they be — comfortable with the role of ersatz immigration officer.

    The other problem the 1986 reform failed to address was the need for workers. It did not provide a legal pipeline for foreign workers to get to jobs that need them. The demand for migrant labor continued. Illegal immigration continued to supply that demand.

    The result is chaos on the border, the emergence of criminal smugglers who get rich bringing workers across newly fortified border regions and the bitter anger that marks today’s debate about immigration.

    Arizona tried to deal with the jobs-magnet problem by passing an employer-sanctions law in 2008. It requires the use of the federal E-Verify system, which is an improvement over the I-9 forms. But the constitutionality of Arizona’s law is under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the law’s effectiveness is questionable.

    E-Verify cannot detect stolen identities. Nor can it tell if someone is working under a name and Social Security number borrowed from friend or relative who is entitled to work.

    What’s more, Arizona is a transit point, not a destination for many illegal immigrants. Even the best state system of workplace verification would not stop criminal smugglers from bringing migrants through our state.

    That’s why comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level is the answer. It has to address border security, provide a pipeline of new workers and offer a path to legalization for the current undocumented population.

    An indispensable tool to make that reform work is worker identification that cannot be easily counterfeited and does not require employers to be document experts. This will make it hard for the undocumented to find work and easy to sanction employers who flout the law.

    This is key to shutting off the access to jobs and beginning to get control of the border.

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  26. The City staff report today identified 15 cities in California that require use of E-Verify. For some reason the Department of Homeland Security would not provide a list. There are 481 cities in California. So 3.1% of them use it. Simi would join the Guinea Pigs approving it without having data understand its pros and cons.

    The staff report also has a statement that strangely has not been mentioned in the press or here: “(E-Verify” can only be used to verify employment eligibility status for new hires AFTER (emphasis added) they are hired for employment.”

    Of the cities that use E-Verify, the staff report notes that so far they have secured 5 nonconfirmations, resulting in 2 terminations.

    Lots of jobs to be freed up there to help Simi Valley legal residents and boost our economy.

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  27. My favorite is from the City staff report now available, that from all the California cities that have adopted use of E-Verify, so far they have racked up a total of 2 terminations.

    Quite the job-producer.

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  28. You’re right, Ted. I think the Council on Monday should just finish what they started in January and approve it. It was a good 8 months of due diligence, some great research. We’ll get maybe a few jobs freed up out of it. Then we can move on to some real issues.

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  29. Nah, they’re just completing what they started in January 2010. There’s been a decent vetting period. Perhaps the meeting can resolve some of the Exaggeratio-Rama that’s been going on, such as “thousands” of jobs, versus 2 jobs.

    Interesting and fairly thorough article on E-Verify. Lancaster’s law appears to be just for political PR purposes, since they admittedly don’t even enforce it on their own businesses:

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/06/21/e_verify_immigration_consequences

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  30. I guess Peter chooses to ignore the point with police and driver licenses.

    As stated, the fact is that it is better to check the information that is required on the I9, rather than just filing it (which is what is done now).

    Yes, we do need laws to stop companies who hire illegal workers, but you also have to give them tools so that they know whether the worker is allowed to work here.

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  31. No E-Verify on the VCCCD Board agenda last night, Oct. 12.

    Huber is the CHAIR of the college district Board. When precisely will E-Verify get on its agenda?

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