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Washington immigration initiative unlikely to make ballot

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July 2, 2009

Washington: The Washington ballot initiative, Initiative 1043, also called the "Respect for Law" initiative, does not look like it will have enough of the 241,000 required signatures by July 3, 2009 to make it on the November 2010 ballot, officials say. Sponsor Wendell Hannigan, a Yakama tribal member, said it was extremely "doubtful" that they would have enough, citing the fact that generally you would need nearly 300,000 actual signatures as a cushion against so-called spoilage.[1]

The initiative would require:

  • All public and private employers and labor organizations to utilize the online E-verify "instant check" of name and Social Security number for workplace eligibility purposes.
  • State and local governments to verify legal presence through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements(SAVE) program prior to giving out taxpayer-funded benefits, as well as doing the same prior to drivers' 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.[2]

Despite the national attention the issue has received, supporters had to revert to unorthodox means of collecting signatures, such as putting petitions as inserts in newspapers and local publications. Still, there has been very little fanfare over the issue.

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