To ensure that future county employees are legal U.S. residents, the Hernando County Commission on Tuesday decided to explore a new employment verification tool called E-Verify, offered through the federal government.
Francine Hill of the Department of Homeland Security explained how the electronic system, which is based on information shared between her agency and the Social Security Administration, would tell the county almost immediately if a new employee was eligible to work.
Commissioners could not vote on the E-Verify system Tuesday because the meeting was a workshop. But after hearing from Hillsborough County human resources director George Williams, they said they were interested in taking the next step.
In Hillsborough, Williams said, the county has gone through additional steps for a more detailed program that partners with the law enforcement aspect of Homeland Security to deal with potential workers who are not accepted as employment eligible.
Williams warned that the expanded program is complex, but he didn't ever want to see a terrorist foul Hillsborough's water supply because the county hadn't done enough to screen its workers.
"Not on my watch,'' he told commissioners.
Hernando County Administrator David Hamilton promised to work with Hillsborough County officials and the E-Verify program to bring more information to commissioners at their April workshop.