Hoquiam council approves E-Verify program

The Hoquiam City Council Monday night unanimously adopted a federal program designed to ensure the city does not use contractors or subcontractors that hire undocumented workers.

The city will now use the E-Verify system, which is part of the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service, after the council studied the issue when informed about the program by a local citizens group opposed to illegal immigration.

“Basically, any public works contract requires that the company hired by the city register with e-verify and check the legal status of their employees,” said City Administrator Brian Shay.

According to the Customs and Immigration website on the program, U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the U.S. — either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization.

The program was authorized by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. Employers submit information taken from a new hire’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form) through E-Verify to the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine whether the information matches government records and whether the new hire is authorized to work in the United States. E-Verify is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, Verification Division, and the Social Security Administration. “E-Verify is an Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is fast, free and easy to use – and it’s the best way employers can ensure a legal workforce,” the website says. For more information, visit http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/