Published: Sep 11, 2010 3:32 AM EDT
Updated: Sep 11, 2010 12:32 AM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - There's a push to keep illegal immigrants from getting jobs in Collier County.

Commissioner Jim Coletta and 175 other residents want to make the federal E Verify Program mandatory. The free online database, operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, determines an employee's eligibility.

"Make sure citizens in this country have first shot at these jobs," said Commissioner Jim Coletta.

175 people have signed a petition asking Commissioners to bring the E Verify system here. Right now, Collier County requires all employees to be eligible, but there's no way to check. Commissioner Coletta says he'd like the program to be county-wide.

"I'd like to have the County Attorney look to see what can be done to require all businesses in Collier to make sure their employees are E Verified and in this country legally.

One local business owner we talked with said he wouldn't use it.

"Its basically, it's discrimination," said Billy Hill, owner of Special Office Solutions, LLC.

"When you're talking about small business owners they can open themselves to multiple lawsuits. You're not a government entity so you can't tell them they have bad identification," said Hill.

Still, more than 216 thousand employers are enrolled in the program nationwide.

Commissioner Coletta says he'll bring up the topic at their next meeting on Tuesday.