City Councilman Scott Voigts said he was listening to KFI AM 640 the other day when he that Temecula had adopted a requirement that all companies doing business with the city use E-Verify, an Internet-based system that checks the residency status of job applicants.
That reminded him that he'd heard from consitutents who wanted Lake Forest to adopt a similar ordinance. So, during council comments at the end of Tuesday's council meeting, he proposed putting discussion of E-Verify on a future council agenda.
The response? Silence. After a few seconds, Mayor Peter Herzog said it appeared there wasn't consensus to have the council talk about E-Verify in the future.
Voigts says he'll try again, though.
"It's not high on my priority list, but it's something I've told my supporters that I support," he said in an interview after the meeting. "I've been told that it's overly cumbersome and not necessary, but it may be necessary because people have asked for it."
U.S. law requires that companies hire only people who are legally authorized to work in the United States—either through U.S. citizenship or through residency status. E-Verify is an Internet-based system that cross-checks information from a prospective employee's I-9 form to information held by the Homeland Security Department and the Social Security Administration.
The nearby towns of Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente have adopted laws that require firms with city contracts to use E-Verify. Recently, the Inland Empire cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and Norco have also done so.
Voigts mentioned that who had false citizenship documentation underscored the need for E-Verify.
Herzog said that for Lake Forest to force companies to use E-Verify would be redundant. He pointed out that the issue has come before the council in the past.
"We've already talked about it," Herzog said. "As we've stated several times, our council has taken a market approach to our situation. All contracts state that all contractors must comply with state, federal and local laws. We've already indicated very strongly that companies have to comply with federal law."