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Job seekers wait in line to fill out applications for employment during a job fair for a grocery store chain.
A handful of conservative cities in the Inland Empire including Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee and Norco are requiring businesses to use the E-Verify system to check the immigration status of potential employees. The lingering unemployment rate has prompted city leaders to find ways to ensure that local businesses, big and small, are hiring only legal citizens. The city of Murrieta is facing a 14.2% unemployment rate and resentment over the hiring of undocumented workers who are in the country illegally is high. E-Verify is a national database employers can use free of charge to check the immigration status of new hires. But critics complain that the database isn’t reliable because it doesn’t catch falsified documents and sometimes mistakenly singles out legal workers. Others say it unfairly targets Latinos. Should more communities start using E-Verify to curb the hiring of undocumented immigrants flaws and all? Or should it be nixed until the system is improved?
Jeff Comerchero, City Councilman, Temecula
Ted Wegener, Tea Party activist
Jennaya Dunlap, spokesperson, Justice for Immigrants Coalition Inland Southern California