The opponents of immigration enforcement have
stooped to a new low in Arizona with their latest attempt to undermine the
state’s workplace verification laws.
After exhausting their usual tactics, they are resorting to outright and
intentional deception of the voters.
This November, Arizonans will vote on Proposition 202; which will be
described to them as such:
Hiring" Act is an initiative designed to crack down on unethical
businesses who hire illegal immigrants. This initiative targets employers who
hire workers and pay under-the-table in cash, which fuels illegal immigration in Arizona. It revokes the business
license of employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal immigrants.
This initiative increases penalties for identity theft, as illegal immigrants often use stolen identities to conceal their undocumented status…
If this were all I knew about Prop 202, I’d
wholeheartedly support it; and the initiative backers are hoping that voters
won’t learn anything about the initiative beyond the title.
Arizona does not need a new law against illegal
hiring. It already has the toughest workplace enforcement law in the
country. The Legal Arizona Workers Act (“LAWA”), which
was enforced in the beginning 2008, is the first state law to require all
employers to use the E-Verify worker identification system. E-Verify is a nearly fool proof electronic data-base
system that makes sure a job applicant is here legally. Arizon
ians on both sides
of the immigration issue agree that the law has had a huge impact in keeping
employers from hiring illegal aliens and, in turn, causing the illegals to
leave the state.
The Stop Illegal Hiring Act effectively overturns
Arizona’ current employersanction laws. It completely removes the E-Verify
requirement that was central to the success of LAWA. It forbids Arizona from acting against
employers until the federal government does so first, but it’s the federal
government’s failure to act that makes the law necessary in the first
place. On top of all this, it gives
amnesty to employers of illegal aliens, and bans whistleblowers from alerting
the authorities to illegal hiring.
The importance of preserving laws such as LAWA
cannot be underestimated. During my ten
years in Congress I have fought in vain to get the federal government to take
action against illegal immigration. States
and localities, however, have had a great deal of success in cracking down on
illegal immigration. From small towns
like Hazelton, PA and Farmers Branch, TX to states like Georgia, Oklahoma, and
my home state of Colorado; patriotic citizens and legislators have taken action
when the government refuses to do its duty.
As the illegal immigrants leave states that get tough, they bring
pressure on neighboring states and the federal government to take action as
Arizona has been in the vanguard of this
movement. It passed Prop 200 in 2004,
which took away many taxpayer benefits to illegal aliens; and then passed four
other initiatives that got tough on illegal immigration in 2006 with well over
70% of the vote.
Usually the pro-immigration groups try to overturn
the will of the people in the courts.
With both the Arizona and Greater Phoenix Chambers of Commerce as well
as heavily funded left wing legal outfits like the ACLU and Mexican American
Legal Defense Fund as plaintiffs, and government executives who are often just
as eager to have the laws overturned charged with defending them; any state law
against illegal immigration immediately faces an uphill legal battle.
The business lobby tried this tactic with both
Proposition 200 and then with LAWA, but after the most left wing Federal Appeals
Court in the country upheld the law, their last resort is outright deception of
the voter. With little fanfare, a
business group called Wake Up Arizona—who were one of the primary plaintiffs
against the current employer sanction laws—have managed to sneak the misleading
initiative on the ballot.
Recent polls show that when given the title of the
act and the misleading description, voters would support Prop 202 by a margin
of 2 to 1. However, when explained that
it guts the enforcement mechanisms in LAWA, voters oppose Prop 202 by 5 to 1.
If there was ever a case of a wolf in sheep’s
clothing, this is it. Even citizens who
oppose LAWA should be outraged by how dishonest and undemocratic the tactics
used by Wake Up Arizona.
ans who want
their laws against illegal hiring preserved do not have multimillion dollar
legal groups to try to keep the proposition off the ballot. The only hope is to educate the voters before
they go to the polling booths that if they want to stop illegal hiring, they
need to vote no on Prop 202, the Stop Illegal Hiring Act.