News & Resources

Missouri activist group submits petition for tighter employee background checks

Jul 22, 2011 Matt Roesly

Members of the Ozarks chapter of the Minuteman Project - an anti-illegal immigration activist organization - recently collected approximately 2,400 signatures on a petition calling for businesses in Springfield, Missouri, to strengthen their pre employment background screening procedures. At least 2,101 signatures must be verified by the city clerk's office in order for the issue to be sent to city council, the Springfield News-Leader explains. The council may elect to approve the ordinance or refer the issue to voters in the form of a public election. "The proposed ordinance penalizes employers for knowingly hiring illegals and requires them to verify worker identity through the E-Verify program," Jerry Wilson, spokesman for the Ozarks Minutemen, explained in a statement. E-Verify is a federal identity verification system that confirms job candidates' eligibility for work by running a background check based on Social Security numbers and other information provided in an Employment Eligibility I-9 Verification Form. According to a recent poll by Pulse Opinion Research, more than 80 percent of the 1,000 American voters questioned support the mandatory use of E-Verify.