The public is invited to consider the pros and cons of the proposed Springfield E-Verify ordinance on Springfield’s Feb. 7 ballot during a panel discussion, “A Civil Discussion on E-Verify.”
The program will be held 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the Central High School auditorium, 423 E. Central St. It is sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri and the Springfield-Greene County Civility Project.
The Ozarks Minutemen, a group pushing for local immigration reform, submitted enough signatures to send an initiative petition to the Springfield City Council. The council opted not to vote on the measure and instead approved ballot language and sent it on for a public vote on Feb. 7.
The Jan. 31 discussion will focus on the proposed ordinance and ballot language, which would add additional regulations not present in the federal E-Verify law. The program will not focus on broader issues of immigration or illegal aliens.
Panelists will include Ozarks Minutemen spokesperson Jerry Wilson and Springfield businessman Joe Jenkins speaking in favor of the measure; Yolanda Lorge, president of Grupo Latinoamericano, and business owner Tim Rosenbury speaking in opposition. The event is free; the public may submit questions for panelists during a question and answer period.
The Springfield E-Verify ordinance would apply to businesses as well as a broad range of individuals and not for profit organizations. It would require any entity in Springfield hiring new employees to use the federal E-Verify system to screen workers to determine if they are legally able to work in the country. The ordinance would also implement fines,
and/or revoke business licenses, if entities in Springfield are caught hiring illegal workers. Current law already requires all entities doing business with the state and federal governments to use E-Verify. Private business owners and other entities have the option to use the E-Verify system but are not currently required to do so.
Additional documents, including official ballot language, can be found below.
For more information call 417-881-5877.