Two legal immigrants in Washington State are working on a ballot initiative that would crack down on illegal aliens living in the state. The ballot initiative would prohibit illegal aliens from obtaining a driver's license, require all public and private employers to use E-Verify, and deny non-emergency public benefits like in-state tuition.
Washington State is one of three states to offer driver's licenses to illegal aliens (view a map detailing all state laws). And if the state were to require an E-Verify mandate, it would join 13 other states that have already passed such laws, including Arizona, South Carolina and Mississippi who are the only three to require all employers to use the employment verification system.
Lorie Graff and Tiarani Samsi both married U.S. citizens and followed the legal path to citizenship, including waiting in their home countries for processing. The two women are now working together to help collect signatures and answer questions in an effort to get I-1056 on the ballot.
"Everybody should have to follow the right path," Samsi told the Seattle Times. "That's only fair."
Organizers of the initiative have until July 2 to gather enough support to get it on the November ballot. Various groups have tried to get the initiative on the ballot for the past several years, but have been unsuccessful.
For more information, see the Seattle Times.
Proponents of the immigration-reduction initiative I-1056 in Washington State, also known as the Washington "Respect for Law" Act of 2010, are collecting signatures toward the 241,153 necessary to advance it for the November 2010 General Election ballot. The deadline for collecting signatures is July 2, 2010.
The initiative would require:
- All public employers, private employers and labor organizations to utilize the online E-Verify "instant check" of name/SSN for workplace eligibility purposes;
- State and local governments to verify legal presence through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program prior to the gifting of taxpayer-funded benefits;
- The State’s Department of Licensing to verify legal presence through SAVE prior to driver's license issuance;
- All persons charged with a felony or DUI to have their immigration status checked;
- That no public employee be inhibited from cooperating with federal immigration authorities (anti-sanctuary city measure); and
- State and local governments to participate in the Federal 287(g) program, which confers authority to enforce immigration laws.
Proponents encourage all Washington State registered voters to download the petition file from the website for printing upon 11"x17" paper only. Supporters may also order petitions via info@RespectWashington.us or (206) 935-3505.
To read the I-1056 legislation or support the effort, go to www.RespectWashington.us. Petition signers must mail signed petitions to Respect Washington by June 25th, or phone (206) 935-3505 for further instructions.
Updated: Tue, Jun 15th 2010 @ 6:22pm EDT