County balks at using E-Verify employment screening

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego County Board of Supervisors balked Tuesday at adopting a program for screening county employees to make sure they eligible to work in the United States, pending a review by the chief administrative officer.

The board asked the county's chief administrative officer to evaluate the Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification System, also known as E- Verify, and report back to the board in 90 days.

E-Verify compares information from a potential employee's I-9 form to records kept by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

“The county is one of the biggest employers in the region, and we have the responsibility to make sure we are hiring people who are eligible for the job,” said Chairman Bill Horn, who submitted the proposal along with Supervisor Diane Jacobs. “The reality is that both local government and businesses unknowingly hire ineligible workers. E-Verify could be a more cost effective means of protecting ourselves and other businesses across the county.”

E-Verify results come in the form a “confirmation,” a “tentative non- confirmation” or “final non-confirmation” within seconds. If someone is found ineligible, he or she can dispute the result.

“It benefits everyone in this country who is here legally to be recognized as being here legally and also encourages those who may not have legal status to go ahead and achieve or pursue legal standing in this country,” Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said.

The county requires job applicants to fill out an I-9 form and be fingerprinted.

If adopted, E-Verify would provide the county an additional verification tool and employers by ensuring on eligible employees are hired, Horn and Jacobs stated in a letter.

“Right now, our county is currently operating on the honor system,” Jacobs said, stating that the county had no method of verifying I-9 forms.

The federal government and subcontractors have been required to use E- Verify since June 2008.

Categories: KUSI