Economy

Washington's Lakewood will use system to check workers' legal status

Next month, Lakewood will become the first city in Washington state to screen some employees and hundreds of private contractors via a controversial federal verification program.

The Lakewood City Council late Monday night passed an ordinance to require contractors to enroll in E-Verify, a free system that checks a person’s identity against several federal databases.

The city will also run the identities of new employees through E-Verify, although officials stressed they won’t check current employees.

The 12-year-old identification program is one way for employers to weed out undocumented workers. With the nation divided over the issue of those workers’ rights, Pierce County's second-largest city thrust itself into the middle of the debate.

Lakewood leaders had discussed E-Verify the past two months. On Monday night, the majority of the council was ready to adopt it. The vote was 6-1.

Councilman Don Anderson said other cities and governments who use E-Verify are happy to have it.

Read the complete story at thenewstribune.com

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