Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CIRC Responds to Denver City Council Vote to Approve E-Verify

Group says that piecemeal local enforcement of national immigration laws does not work.

Denver, CO - Yesterday, the Denver City Council voted 9 - 4 to approve an Ordinance requiring all construction and service contractors with the city of Denver to use the E-Verify system for all new hires. Council President Nevitt and Councilmember Faatz sponsored the ordinance. Councilmember Boigon introduced an Amendment, unanimously approved, which strengthens the due-process language and creates a reporting and evaluation provision. Councilmembers Lopez, Sandoval, Linkhart and Montero were the four "No" votes.

The following is a statement by Julien Ross, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC):

"We are deeply disappointed in the Council's decision to expand use of the flawed E-verify system and to authorize the City of Denver to be enforcers of immigration law. It is especially disappointing that Councilman Nevitt and the majority of the Council would approve a local piecemeal enforcement measure only months after their rational and moderate resolution in support of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. This strange shift in policy can only be explained by election-year politics, which is shameful, especially considering that the City Council is not up for election this year.

" We commend Councilmember Boigon for introducing the approved Amendment, which addresses some of our concerns by requiring a strong due process provision for those wrongly flagged by E-Verify and mandating a data driven report in the first and second years of the program. We also thank Councilmembers Lopez, Sandoval, Linkhart and Montero for their principled votes in opposition of the Ordinance.

" Councilmember Linkhart had it right when he said that the Ordinance would not only hurt the contractor, but also create an atmosphere where sub contractors will fear doing business with the City of Denver. We have maintained all along that only federal comprehensive immigration reform can fix the broken immigration system. Making employment more difficult for Coloradans in the name of "immigration enforcement" is not the right way to go."