Without making a recommendation for or against E-Verify, we find it very strange that the state would consider prohibiting cities from using the system that verifies someone's eligibilty to work in this country.
It's especially puzzling when some federal jobs require the use of E-Verify.
The city of Kennewick recently adopted a measure that requires the use of E-Verify for new employees and for contractors or vendors that the city hires. This was a unanimous decision and it does not seem like an unreasonable one.
However, a bill proposed by Rep. Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney, D-Seattle, says the system is flawed and that mandating the use of it would interfere with the state's economic development.
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We're having a difficult time connecting the dots here.
True, if all employers were forced to use E-Verify it likely would cripple the agriculture industry. But if the city of Kennewick uses it, we don't see apples being left on the tree and asparagus going to seed in the ground.
We are, however, in agreement with proponents of the bill that the problem is bigger than Kennewick or even the state of Washington.
Immigration is a national problem and needs to be addressed on a federal level.
Pamela Jayapal, OneAmerica founder and executive director, recently told the House committee that passing this bill would send a message to the federal government that comprehensive immigration is needed at the federal level.
Again, we disagree with the logic here, but agree with the conclusion.
One city here and there using E-Verify or one state restricting its use, may "send a message" but it's a weak one.
Still the message is important: "What we got now just ain't working."