Beginning in mid-December, all places of business in the unincorporated areas of Washington County (Utah) will be required to verify the employment eligibility of new hires by using the free, federal government E-Verify system.
County business licenses will only be issued to businesses that comply with the E-Verify requirement. Businesses that fail to certify compliance with the ordinance, risk having their business licenses suspended and eventually permanently revoked in the case of multiple infractions.
The ordinance was enacted to ensure that the citizens of Washington County, not illegal aliens, benefit from taxpayer funds. In addition, the E-Verify requirement also protects Utah children from rampant illegal alien driven, employment related identity theft while at the same time protecting jobs for legal workers.
The ordinance was drafted in full conformity with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows state and local governments to mandate the use of E-Verify and to impose licensing sanctions when violations occur.
Jim Flohr of the Citizens Council on Illegal Immigration praised all three Washington County Commissioners for standing up for the citizens of the county and for setting the example for other counties throughout the state. Commission Denny Drake who has taken a leading role in addressing the negative aspects of illegal immigration in Washington County was singled out for special praise.
City governments throughout Washington County are being encouraged to pass similar ordinances and efforts will be made to have the state legislature enact similar legislation, including licensing penalties, that would apply to all employers throughout the state.
Utah currently has a statewide E-Verify requirement; however, there are no penalties for non-compliance and it only applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. Only a small percentage of the private businesses required to use E-Verify under the state law have enrolled in the program and many public employers have failed to comply with a separate section of law that requires them to use E-Verify.
Business, agricultural and faith-based organizations have aggressively opposed E-Verify requirements designed to protect American children from illegal alien driven identity theft and to ensure that jobs go to authorized workers rather than to illegal aliens. In addition, these same organizations have consistently demanded that taxpayers fund benefits for illegal aliens.