Springfield Voters will Decide on E-Verify Law

Due to a recent split city council vote, residents of Springfield, Missouri, will decide whether to enact a new immigration law by casting ballots next winter or spring.

The proposed law, initiated through an Ozarks Minutemen petition, calls for the city’s businesses to use the federal E-Verify database to ensure all employees have a work visa or are otherwise authorized to take jobs in the United States.

Despite protesters gathering at city hall, supporters of the measure expressed surprise it did not pass. Jerry Wilson, director of communications for the Ozarks Minutemen, told KY3 the group was “puzzled” by the split decision.

Councilman Scott Bailes, absent for the vote, told the source he had anticipated the measure would be approved and then amended to eliminate some of its more controversial and possibly illegal stipulations, such as steep fines for businesses that employ undocumented workers.

Opponents of the proposal said it could make the town vulnerable to costly litigation and sow discord in the community.

Georgia is among the states to institute an E-Verify law, which recently created a snafu for an Atlanta airport project. Because many applicants for vendor spots at Hartsfield International Airport didn’t fill out their E-Verify forms completely or correctly, all proposals will be scrapped and the application process started over.