The Leavenworth County Commission pulled back Monday on an earlier motion they had made to require immigration status certification as part of its bidding processes.
Last week the commission approved a motion that would have specifically listed E-Verify, a federal database that allows companies to check the work status of workers, as a requirement for any company bidding on the county's annual mowing contract. County Administrator Pat Hurley, however, presented changes to the commission's minutes from that meeting after discussion's with the county's legal counsel, David Van Parys.
“The state does not currently have an E-Verify system, nor do we,” Hurley said.
Instead, he said the state specifies in its requests for proposals for materials and services that those bidding must prove somehow that they comply with all state and federal regulations regarding immigration by signing a form to that effect. The exact method of verification is up to the employer, though Hurley said one common method is the I-9 form from the Internal Revenue Service. Hurley said the state in its contracts keeps open the possibility of enforcement.
“The state can ask for that documentation at any time they want,” he said.
Hurley said he and Van Parys suggested that if the commission would like to amend its RFP language, they mirror the state's approach.
Commissioner Dennis Bixby, who first made the motion to require E-Verify for county bidders, said he thought he might need to clarify.
“It was never my intention to imply the county needed its own E-Verify system, nor the state have its own E-Verify policy,” he said.
Hurley suggested two motions ― approve new minutes for March 11 that strike the words “including E-Verify” from the measure that all bidders in the county adhere to federal and state regulations and approve a new bidding policy adopting the state's language regarding adherence to state and federal laws. The commission took both actions.