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City of Lakewood Opposes Proposed E-Verify Legislation

City of Lakewood Opposes Proposed Legislation that would Halt the Use of its E-Verify Program

The City of Lakewood was the first City in the State of Washington to pass legislation requiring that E-Verify be used by contractors doing business with the City. A bill has been introduced in the Washington State Legislature (HB 2568) that would halt the use of E-Verify for programs like Lakewood’s. On February 6, 2012 Lakewood City Council unanimously (7-0) passed a resolution formally opposing that bill.

Since June 2009, Lakewood has required contractors to sign affidavits stating they will use the E-Verify program and not hire anyone who is not legally entitled to work in the United States. E-Verify is a Federal electronic database that examines Social Security and Homeland Security records to make this determination.

“We passed the legislation to protect legal workers and to ensure fair wages in the labor market," said Lakewood Mayor Douglas Richardson. “The proposed bill not only would thwart those goals, it also is inconsistent with statutory authority that gives cities the broad authority to govern their own affairs.”

For these reasons, Lakewood City Council passed Resolution 2012-08 formally opposing the bill. The resolution states that “E-Verify has proven successful in helping prevent identity theft, stolen social security numbers, and serves the citizens of Lakewood by protecting jobs for legal residents and returning veterans.” Lakewood has made its opposition to the bill part of its legislative agenda.