This is a good thing..its important for several reasons. First, Arizona is attempting to do what many of us have been bitching about for years now..Make the Companies and Businesses responsible when it comes to hiring undocumented workers. It puts on the onus on them, where it belongs. We need to treat them like the damn DEA treats most drug dealers; take everything they own and auction it off, leaving them penniless and in jail. Under the law, any business that is found to have knowingly hired an illegal worker is subject to sanctions ranging from probation to a 10-day suspension of its business licenses. A second violation would bring permanent revocation of the license.
Second, the lawsuit shows us that businesses and corporations don’t want to change the status quo. The corporatocracy talks a good game about illegals being a blight on the American job market, but the reality is, they like hiring them and keeping the wages low and pocketing more of their bottom line, not to mention treating the undocumented workers like chattel.
The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that illegal immigrants account for one in 10 workers in the Arizona economy. The following is Jurists writeup on this case a good place to go for all things legal:
A federal judge Friday dismissed a lawsuit challenging a new Arizona law aimed at preventing employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. The Legal Arizona Workers Act, enacted in July, gives the Superior Courts of Arizona power to suspend or revoke the business licenses of businesses that intentionally or knowingly employ illegal immigrants. Under the law, employers will be required to check the legal status of new hires using E-Verify, a free online federal program that checks names and identification documents to determine employment eligibility. The plaintiffs, a coalition of advocacy groups and business interests, had hoped to block the legislation before it takes effect on Jan. 1, 2008. US District Court Judge Neil V. Wake wrote that the lawsuit was premature because the law had not gone into effect and no one had been harmed, and also that the plaintiffs were wrong in suing the governor and the attorney general, because under the law, only county prosecutors, who were not defendants, have the power to enforce the law.
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has called the law “the most aggressive action in the country against employers who knowingly or intentionally hire undocumented workers.” Napolitano urged similar national legislation in a July letter to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in which she also urged Congress to review the Basic Pilot Program, the federal database used to verify the status of new employees.
I am Hispanic, and I know that I have relatives in my family tree that came into this country without visas. I also believe that any immigrant that slogs through the fucking desert, finds a job and makes a good, decent life for themselves should be granted citizenship. But I am not so delusional that I don’t realize how undocumented workers that flood specific types of job markets hold down the pay scale in those markets. I have seen it first hand for my son who works in new housing construction. He has been told to his face by superiors that they would rather hire two illegals for 10 bucks and hour than hire my son for 20 an hour. I believe that if we hold companies feet to the fire and make them accountable for hiring undocumented workers that the amount of illegals coming northward into America will slow down if not drop to a trickle.
I see first hand how hard they work to make a decent life for them and their families. I see how they pay payroll taxes they never get to file for and recover.. They buy houses and pay their property taxes. They have good family values and are usually very close knit families. I have seen undocumented workers slaving in fields where the temperatures rise to 105-110 degrees every day in the summer, and they do it for a paycheck that wouldn’t even impress the guy working the counter at McDonald’s my dear reader.
So, do not lump me in with the racists and bigots that are screaming about Homeland Security or any of the other bogus bullshit lines of reasoning they use to make Hispanics the ‘new’ Blacks as it were.
Crossposted at Sirens Chronicles