Salt Lake County toughens E-Verify requirement

The Salt Lake Tribune
March 8, 2012
By Mike Gorrell

In the future, applicants for business licenses in unincorporated Salt Lake County will have to provide written assurance that they have used E-Verify to guarantee the legal working status of all of their employees.

A resolution requiring the business license division to include a status-verification check-off box on application forms for new licenses and renewals received County Council approval Tuesday on a party-line 5-4 vote.

The council’s Republican majority voted for the measure, which Council Chairman David Wilde characterized as simply a matter of “asking people to abide by [federal and state] laws” prohibiting the knowing employment of illegal immigrants.

The four Democrats countered that the resolution went too far in telling the business license division how to do its job. They also maintained it could put unincorporated area businesses at a disadvantage compared to cities and other counties that don’t require such disclosures.

Councilwoman Jani Iwamoto, a Democrat, added that the concept of a check-off box reminds her of some of the practices enacted against Japanese-Americans during World War II.

Councilman Steve DeBry, a Republican, insisted that “ethnicity doesn’t come into it” and that the resolution is just “a tool to help make businesses in Salt Lake County stay on the side of the law.”

Fellow Republican Richard Snelgrove, the resolution’s sponsor and a candidate for county mayor, said county government uses E-Verify as part of its employment policy and that “we must preach what we practice.”

Salt Lake County toughens E-Verify requirement | The Salt Lake Tribune