City Councilman Wants to Bring Illegal-Immigrant Screening System E-Verify to Lake Forest

Councilman Scott Voigts' proposal didn't get far Tuesday, but he says he'll bring it up again.

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."

jim shoe February 16, 2011 at 09:23 PM
I do think Lake Forest should we have legal workers in this time of americans needing and looking for work . Lake Forest already lets them sleep along Aliso creek n bath , I walk my dog down the trail between trabuco & jeronimo rd and see this in the early mornings hours 630am. This is getting out of hand that the city allows this. Also how does one get a car and plates with out a driver license. Also whats with the day labors on jeronimo hanging out waiting for work, why does the city not enforce and stop the loitering, now i see homless people sleeping on bus benches or hold signs asking for money......... I guess Lake Forest has a blind eye and does not care about whats really going on as long as the city goverment gets a pay check , get off ur ass and look around you...........
Kathy Wood February 16, 2011 at 10:13 PM
I agree with both Jims above. If other local cities are doing it, why isn't Lake Forest? I appreciate Counciman Voigts bringing it up. This (illegal immigration) is not an issue that's going away, if the other council members don't want to address it, the people will find others who will.
Nicole February 17, 2011 at 12:57 AM
Jim: I think it is a good idea to check for immigration status and the City should work to remedy these issues. Having said that, some of the issues you identify, chiefly the day laborers and transient individuals sleeping along the creek and on benches are chronic social problems that need to be addressed on a bigger level. I am not sure it is fair to level such criticism on one small government without considering the bigger picture. On a side note, I am afraid your mastery of the English language, as depicted in its full glory in your post, tells us more about your personal sense of underserved entitlement than anything else. In my opinion, if an individual arrives in this country legally, works hard, and gets an education; they deserve to share in the American dream. If we had not encouraged immigration from various parts of the world, the United States would not be the powerful nation it is today.
PTB February 22, 2011 at 04:19 PM
Totally and absolutely agree, Kathy. Let's find others who will.
Kim December 06, 2012 at 08:23 PM
I agree with Councilman Voigt. We should require businesses to hire people who are here legally. The council needs to keep the interest of the citizens of Lake Forest as their priority. If you want to know why the day laborers can stand down of Jeronimo everyday without having to move, read this article. They sued the City of Lake Forest. The City of Lake Forest had to pay their legal fees as well. http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2010/10/city-pay-day-laborers-legal-fees/ I understand wanting a better life and a job, however, if you come here Illegally aren't you already communicating that you don't respect the law of the land?


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