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Some cities are requiring businesses to check workers’ immigration status. Should they?

February 14, 2011 | 10:27 am

Talk back LAIn recession-ravaged cities across the Inland Empire, politicians have turned to a strategy first used in Arizona: requiring business to check the legal status of new workers.

Through an online database run by the federal government, businesses can use E-Verify to determine immigration status. Employers that refuse to use it risk having their business licenses revoked, reports The Times' Phil Willon.

"The simple notion to why we did it is that we believe that American jobs should go to Americans," said Temecula City Councilman Jeff Comerchero. "Is what we did the cure for illegal immigration? Certainly not. It's a small step."

Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and Norco are other Inland Empire cities that have begun using E-Verify. In Lancaster, the first city in California to require businesses to screen workers through E-Verify, the mayor reports that the city has already had a deterrent effect.

Critics in the business community complain about the reliability and that workers who use fraudulent Social Security and immigration documents can often go undetected.

What do you think? Should more cities use E-Verify to check immigration status? Is it a good solution for illegal immigration problems? Tell us your thoughts below.

RELATED:

Cities target illegal workers

Chipotle chain targeted for immigration audits

-- Kimi Yoshino

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