Simi Valley City Council

Discussion in 'Immigration/Illegal Immigration' started by Angelhair, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. Angelhair

    Angelhair Senior Member

    Aug 22, 2009
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    In an emotionally charged meeting, the Simi Valley City Council approved a pilot E-Verify program to help ensure that new city employees and those hired by city contractors are legally authorized to work in the United States.

    With the council’s unanimous vote Monday night, Simi Valley became the first city in Ventura County to adopt use of the federal E-Verify program, despite debate about its accuracy.

    E-Verify advocates applauded the council’s decision but were disappointed it wasn’t expanded to require all businesses operating in the city use it. Instead, the council asked city staff to get input on the issue from the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce.

    The council’s voted for it after several members of the public passionately urged it be adopted.

    “I’m here tonight for one reason and one reason only,” Simi Valley carpenter Jerome Walsh said. “I’m a selfish person. I need a job.”, which advocates for lower immigration levels, “estimates 6 million jobs in America are held by illegal aliens. If Congress passed mandatory E-Verify it would open up 2.76 million jobs for Americans,” Walsh said.

    E-Verify is a free Internet-based program managed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services that compares information provided by newly hired employees with databases maintained by the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to assist in determining the employment eligibility of those workers. It is a voluntary program for employers.

    A study by Westat, a Maryland research company hired by the Department of Homeland Security to evaluate the system earlier this year, found that the system wrongly clears illegal workers 54 percent of the time. On the flip side, 0.7 percent of U.S. citizens and legal immigrant workers were wrongly determined to be ineligible to work.

    But Bob Huber, who is running against Councilman Steve Sojka for mayor on the Nov. 2 ballot, countered at the meeting that E-Verify is highly accurate.

    “Westat estimates that overall, E-Verify queries result in an accurate response 96 percent of the time,” said Huber, a former Simi Valley City councilman and chairman of the Ventura County Community Colleges Board of Trustees. Incumbent Mayor Paul Miller is not seeking re-election.

    Westat noted that the 54 percent error rate applied to the 6.2 percent of queries involving unauthorized workers, meaning more than half that group were cleared to be hired.

    Simi Valley resident Steve Frank sparked a heated exchange with Councilman Glen Becerra when he asserted that he can tell who undocumented workers are because they don’t speak English and ride bicycles.

    Frank accused the city of “protecting illegal aliens.”

    Becerra asked Frank if he had “determined they were illegal, because they don’t speak English — (but) you haven’t talked to them — and because of the color of their skin?”

    “I didn’t say that,” Frank responded. “That is a racist statement.”

    When the exchange continued after Miller asked both men “to knock it off,” the mayor loudly banged his gavel to get them to stop.

    “You’re out of order,” Miller said. “Both of you.”

    Assistant City Manager Laura Behjan said the E-Verify program will be implemented for new city hires as soon as the city enters into a contract with E-Verify and staff undergoes training required by the Department of Homeland Security.

    Behjan said the program for contractors hired by the city will be implemented once the council adopts an ordinance detailing the program, possibly as early as its next meeting on Sept. 20.

    She said the pilot program will be reviewed by the council in a year to determine if it will continue and if so, if any modifications need to be made.

    Simi Valley adopts E-Verify to check new employees' legal status Ventura County Star
  2. hjmick

    hjmick Gold Member

    Mar 28, 2007
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    Charleston, SC
    They may be the only city in Ventura County to do this. While generally considered to lean conservative, Ventura county has a substantial Hispanic population and this issue may be too politically charged for most of the cities to tackle. especially in Ventura, Oxnard, and Santa Paula. Simi Valley may very well be the most conservative city in the county.

    The political spectrum in the county had seemed to reach something of a balance by the time I left there last year, more and more Angelenos leaving L.A. county.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010
  3. Wicked Jester

    Wicked Jester Libsmackin'chef

    Aug 4, 2009
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    So. Cal, Malibu!
    I live in Ventura county. A very conservative county......The VC sheriffs office has been enforcing federal immigration laws for years......No lawsuits. No bitching.....They have been enforcing the law, and it has worked out just fine.

    Right on Simi Valley!.....Ya' must look out after OUR OWN!
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2010

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