New rules were supposed to make
businesses use federal system. It was supposed to make sure people were allowed
to work in the
Voters passed the rules, a few local business owners sued, a judge blocked the ordinance, and now it'll be like it all never happened for businesses.
Springfield City Manager Greg Burris says at its most basic, the E-Verify rules were trying to tackle a federal issue. He raised concerns about the legality of the ordinance before it passed.
"We have an obligation to defend those parts that we could," says Burris. "It just turns out that's a very small portion of the ordinance."
According to city leaders, a new agreement strips ordinance down and brings businesses back to before February when voters passed the controversial rules.
The measure passed after much discussion in public and private. It got heated at times. Now the group that got it to the polls -- the Ozarks Minutemen -- is blasting the new agreement.
"Settling out of court is not defending anything," says Jerry Wilson, Director of Communications (right). "It's rolling over and playing dead. And that's what we believe the city did."
"They have repudiated and negated the voice of the people as expressed in February of this year."
"I don't believe that," says Burris. "We told them from the very start that we thought there were illegal provisions."
All that's left is a judge's approval of the deal. The City Council will also have to take up a "cleanup bill" to change the ordinance.
The Minutemen plan to support E-Verify mandates on the state and federal levels. They also blame the City for not making changes to employment rules before the vote in February. They say the cleanup bill is another chance to make changes.