Beginning January 1, 2010, businesses operating in the City of Lancaster will be required to utilize the federal e-verify system to ensure all of their new hires are eligible to work in the United States. This requirement is a provision of Ordinance 934, which was passed by the City Council in late October. The ordinance also states that those who hire unauthorized aliens may have their business licenses revoked.

“It is absolutely essential that our local businesses comply with the law when choosing who to employ,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Difficult economic times have made jobs scarce, and 17 percent of Antelope Valley residents are currently struggling with unemployment. We are working to ensure that all available jobs in our City go to hard-working, law-abiding citizens.”

E-verify is a free and simple internet-based system which electronically verifies the employment eligibility of potential employees through the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the United States Social Security Administration (SSA). The system works by allowing participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper-based employee eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against the more than 449 million records in SSA’s database and over 80 million records in DHS immigration databases.

E-verify reduces unauthorized employment, minimizes verification-related discrimination, is quick and non-burdensome to employers, and protects civil liberties and employee privacy.  Participation in e-verify is free to employers and is accessible through virtually any internet-capable computer here.

“This is a simple and effective way to assure that only American citizens get the jobs available in Lancaster,” remarked Councilwoman Sherry Marquez. “The federal e-verify system will ensure all businesses in the City of Lancaster are operating in accordance with the law.”