Centralia to No Longer Participate in E-Verify

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Centralia opted out of the E-Verify program Tuesday, with a unanimous city council vote affirming the recommendation by City Attorney Shannon Murphy-Olson.

“We jumped on board and adopted the program thinking the federal government would adopt it and require everyone to do it,” Murphy-Olson told the council.

When that didn’t happen, the program proved more hassle than help, she said.

“It’s ended up being a cumbersome program,” Murphy-Olson said. “When we have federal and state contracts, we have contractors and subcontractors, and it makes a huge amount of work for our staff.”

E-Verify is a Department of Homeland Security website that confirms whether employees are eligible to work in the U.S. It’s required for federal contractors, but Centralia’s voluntary involvement wasn’t worth the trouble, especially since employers already have a legal obligation to verify their workers’ status, Murphy-Olson said.

“The program just did not pan out as we believed it would,” Murphy-Olson said.

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