And it also requires employers to use the Federal E-Verify Program to ensure that job applicants are legally authorized to work in the USA.
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LAKE ELSINORE COUNCIL BACKS ARIZONA LAW
GENE GHIOTTO, THE PRESS-ENTERPRISE
The Lake Elsinore City Council voted Tuesday to support the Arizona law that makes it a misdemeanor to hire undocumented immigrants and calls on police officers to check on the residency status of people they stop or detain.
The council also approved an ordinance that requires employers in the city to use the federal E-Verify program to ensure that job applicants are authorized to work in the United States.
"This is about the right to work in this country," Councilman Bob Magee said.
The proposals on Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and the E-Verify program were brought to the council by Councilman Daryl Hickman in May, but held for further study.
"I did this out of frustration that the federal government is not doing its job," Hickman said Tuesday during the discussion on the E-Verify item.
Both items passed on 4-1 votes. Mayor Pro Tem Amy Bhutta said voted against the resolution backing the Arizona law because she could not support it at this time. Hickman opposed the E-Verify ordinance because he wanted the requirements to be tougher.
He said he brought up the program because he said many jobs, such as construction and for young people, are being done by undocumented workers.
"The way to curb this illegal immigration is to cut off" jobs, Hickman said.
Concerns were raised in May, and restated Tuesday, about the cost of enforcing the E-Verify program, which is provided by the Department of Homeland Security.
Magee said the city does not have the funds to administer such a program.
Also, the business community raised questions about whether the program would be applied to new employees or would pertain to all workers, and if it applied to all workers, how much time employers would have to comply, according to a staff report.
The ordinance proposed for Lake Elsinore is modeled after one approved by the city of Lancaster, the first in California to require employers in a city to verify the status of its workers. Lancaster, though, does not enforce use of the program.
The Lake Elsinore ordinance calls on employers to provide proof of enrollment in the program as part of the business license procedure. Still, according to a report, enrollment would not confirm businesses were using the program.
In seeking support for the proclamation backing the Arizona bill, Hickman again said he brought it up out of frustration with the federal government.
Raymond Herrera, who showed up at the meeting after attending a Temecula council meeting on similar issues, called on the Lake Elsinore council to support the proclamation.
"Arizona passed that law to protect its people," Herrera said.
Those speaking against the proclamation said it would create a division among residents and police in the city and "create a hostile environment in neighborhoods.
"Victims of crimes will be afraid to come forward," said Jonathan Dunlap.