76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS WORKSITE ENFORCEMENT

WHEREAS, the United States is a nation of immigrants, the overwhelming majority of whom are making an important and positive contribution to both our economy and our culture; and

WHEREAS, immigration reform is one of the most pressing issues facing The U.S. Conference of Mayors; and

WHEREAS, the federal government has not been able to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation; and

WHEREAS, as a consequence of such inaction has been a dramatic increase in identity theft of the Social Security numbers of U.S. citizens; and,

WHEREAS, due to a lack of a workable immigration policy, our country is inhabited by more than 12 million undocumented individuals; and

WHEREAS, many of these undocumented individuals are working in well-established businesses that contribute significantly to the local economy; and

WHEREAS, responsible employers often have to rely on documentation that appears facially valid in order to determine an individual’s status to accept employment; and

WHEREAS, the current federal E-Verify system has not been reliable in ascertaining a prospective employee’s right to work;and,

WHEREAS, some employers will prey upon undocumented workers, with substandard wages, long hours and unsafe working conditions, knowing these workers will not complain to authorities; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Immigration & Custom Enforcement (ICE) has increased worksite enforcement activities;

WHEREAS, ICE worksite enforcement activities are often the result of “anonymous” tips from the competitors of legitimate employers, thereby using ICE raids to disrupt production; and,

WHEREAS, ICE enforcement activities targeting companies that have had no record or suspicion of engagement in exploitative practices will negatively impact local economies and may drive employers to locate manufacturing facilities overseas; and

WHEREAS, ICE has limited resources and time to conduct worksite enforcement activities;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls upon U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement to develop a national policy for its workforce enforcement activities that focuses on employers with a demonstrated history or reasonable suspicion of engaging in exploitative practices, such as violation of wage, hour or occupational safety laws and regulations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ICE not prioritize responsible employers for worksite enforcement activities before accurate verification systems are available or comprehensive immigration reform regularizes the status of workers on whom they rely; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that ICE should strive to keep in close communication with the nation’s mayors when conducting worksite enforcement activities in their cities.