Friday, August 13, 2010

Denver mandates verification of immigration status for construction contracts

The Denver City Council gave final approval Monday night to a measure requiring construction contractors vying for city work to verify the immigration status of their employees.

The ordinance, which passed by a 9-4 vote, makes construction firms use the federal E-Verify program to validate new employees' immigration status as a condition of holding a city contract. The firms must also vouch for their existing employee's immigration status before being awarded the contract.

"This is saying, 'We're doing our best as a city to make sure our contractors ... are using workers who are qualified to work under the laws of the land," said Councilwoman Jeanne Faatz, who co-sponsored the ordinance.

The new rule will go into effect Oct. 1. The city already requires the same check for companies hoping to win a service contract.

E-Verify is an online database that checks information on an employee's I-9 form — on which identifying information like Social Security documentation is registered — against data from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. It is one of two databases prospective state contractors can use in complying with state immigration status-verification rules.

"No citizen or legal resident should have to compete with workers who are here illegally," said Councilman Charlie Brown...

[Full Article]