More than 1,300 employers at nearly 5,000 work sites in Washington are now using E-Verify. the number of queries in the state almost doubled from 2007 to 2008, and an article in the Seattle Times attributes the increase to growing awareness of the program.

"Being in the construction industry, we know there's a greater likelihood to encounter workers who are not here legally," said Annemarie Montera who works for Wren Construction in Everett, Wash. "I'm a bleeding-heart Democrat, but when it comes to this, we want to make sure we're doing the right thing."

A coalition of Washington activist groups, Respect Washington, is collecting signatures to push for a ballot initiative in the fall to make E-Verify mandatory for state employers. Several other states have some variation of mandatory E-Verify laws.

For more information, see the Seattle Times.

Updated: Fri, Mar 20th 2009 @ 3:18pm EDT