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- 04-23-2012, 11:11 PM #1
Proposal would ID San Bernardino County eateries that screen new hires
Ryan Carter, Staff Writer
Created: 04/23/2012 08:38:09 AM PDT
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
A proposal designed to identify restaurants that screen employees for their immigration status will go in front of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors today, its author said.
Supervisor Neil Derry's measure would amend the county's restaurant letter-grading system to identify businesses that use the federal E-Verify system.
Right now, the E-Verify system works with the Internet, allowing an employer to voluntarily determine the eligibility of a new employee to work in the United States, according to the U.S. government.
Under what Derry plans to bring to his colleagues on the board, food businesses that use E-Verify would receive a green overlay on their letter-grade placard - the kind you see in restaurant windows. Those that don't would receive a red overlay.
The amendment to the county code is important for economic and health reasons, Derry said.
"We have a huge unemployment rate among young people," Derry said. "Most incremental jobs for young people are in the food industry, whether it be the people that bus the tables, people that wash the dishes ... but these jobs are few and far between because they are being taken by people who aren't here legally."
A second motivator is public health, said Derry.
People without legal status in the country haven't been through the same tests and vaccinations that legal immigrants have been through in order to live and work in the U.S., he said.
And that makes customers' health "vulnerable to numerous communicable diseases more commonly found in people born outside this country," Derry said.
At last count, nearly 1,000 county businesses screen employees' immigration status with E-Verify, part of a recent 37 percent surge statewide in the number of employers using the system since 2010.
Concerns that the system encourages prejudice persuaded the state Legislature in October to prohibit local governments from forcing firms to use the system. The ban went into effect Jan. 1, sparking Derry's ire.
Amaya suspects that given the state's restraint on local governments enforcing E-Verify, there would be a legal challenge to Derry's proposal if supervisors approved it.
Derry, too, suspects the same.
Still, Derry said it's the right thing to do.
"I think we can do this," he said. "I think we'd be doing the right thing for the public and for public health."
One Old Vet
Proposal would ID San Bernardino County eateries that screen new hires - DailyBulletin.comWe have immigration laws that just need to be enforced.