Companies that have contracts with the City of Oceanside are now required to register with the Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system to assure that none of their employees are in the country illegally.
"In these trying economic times, government has an obligation to assure that every taxpayer dollar goes where it needs to go," said councilmember Gary Felien, who requested that the item be placed on the council's April 6 docket. "Every job created should go to someone that's entitled to have that job. E-Verify avoids any issues with profiling, it avoids asking if someone has too much brown skin and whether or not they speak enough English."
Oceanside becomes the second city in the county to require businesses with city contracts to enroll in the free, internet-based program. On March 23, Escondido's city council was the first to make enrollment in the E-Verify program mandatory.
"We as a city need to take a leadership position and encourage that all businesses do this," said councilmember Jerry Kern during the hearing. "Is the city going out to businesses and mandate that they use E-Verify? No, that's the federal government's job. We are not going into the private sector. We are only dealing with the public sector."
Councilmember Esther Sanchez was the only councilperson opposed to the policy. "My concern is this in not business friendly. The federal government already enforces these laws. It only adds additional costs and burdens for the contractor, if not the city."
Despite those concerns, the council voted 3 to 1 in favor of the requirement with Sanchez in opposition and Mayor Jim Wood absent.