Lobbying intensified Friday as Gov. Janet Napolitano considered a bill that would crack down on businesses that employ undocumented workers.
Napolitano was flooded with calls for a veto. The phone calls came in English and Spanish, offering not-so-subtle advice on a bill the governor has until July 3 to act upon. On Friday alone, the Governor’s Office received 28 phone calls asking her to sign House Bill 2779 and 128 requesting a veto.
But the real full-court press begins Monday when members of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce plan to coordinate their efforts in pressuring Napolitano by phone and e-mail and in person. Needless to say, they will ask her to VETO the bill.
Update: JUNE 28TH 2007 - I noticed that the Arizona Farm Bureau is asking Gov. Napolitano to veto this bill. Why would that be. I myself own a farm, I grow chili peppers, corn and broccoli. I even raise Black Angus Cattle under my brand. Maybe it’s because I refuse to cheat the law by hiring illegal aliens and paying them slave wages; that I’m NOT worried about being “put out of business”. This is definatly one of those issues that separate the law abiding businesses from the corrupt.
Commentary: Obviously State House Bill 2779 (full text available here), will help in a big way to stop the hiring of illegal aliens which the federal government has refused to effectively enforce. In doing so, big business and big contractor PACs like the Arizona Contractors Association, are worried as hell that their source of cheap illegal labor might soon vanish. They are already rallying the troops to get Gov. Napolitano’s veto pen on this legislation as quickly as possible. Here’s what the ACA’s concerns are:
In a late move during the last view hours of the Legislative Session the Arizona Legislature passed HB2779 “Fair and Legal Employment Act”. Unfortunately, once again the legislature has failed to listen to the business community on this issue.
As in previous versions of this bill, it mandates all employers after December 31st, 2007 to use the Basic Pilot Program to verify employment eligibility of all employees.
The licensing eligibility elements of the bill include: prohibiting an employer from intentionally employing an unauthorized alien or knowingly employing an unauthorized alien.
Yep, that’s pretty much the idea. Sounds like a spectacular piece of legislation.
For a first violation of knowingly employing an unauthorized alien, requires the court to order the employer to terminate the employment of all unauthorized aliens and to suspend the appropriate licenses unless the employer files a signed sworn affidavit with the county attorney within three business days that states that the employer has terminated the employment of all unauthorized aliens and that the employer will not intentionally or knowingly employ an unauthorized alien. If the affidavit is filed, the licenses are reinstated, if the affidavit is not filed the court may order the suspension of licenses, not to exceed ten business days. Violators are subject to a three-year probationary period.
For a first violation of intentionally employing an unauthorized alien, requires the court to order the employer to terminate the employment of all unauthorized aliens to suspend the appropriate licenses for a minimum of ten business days. Violators are subject to a five year probationary period.
Employers who are placed on probation must file quarterly reports with the county attorney of new employees hired at the location where an unauthorized alien performed work.
For a second violation during the probationary period the bill will require the appropriate licenses to be permanently revoked.
The Arizona Contractors Association has opposed this bill and its predecessors for the basic reason provided in the United States Constitution that refers immigration policy and enforcement as solely a federal responsibility and while we understand of Congress’s failure to act has increased state’s enticement to engage on this issue it is nonetheless a federal issue that fundamentally should be and is required by law to be fixed on the federal level.
In other words, the big business and contractor PAC’s want to be able to keep breaking the law with the knowledge that the federal government will but only on rare occasion and under politcal duress from “We the People”, enforce the laws regarding the hiring of illegal aliens. This bill is good for Arizona, it’s citizens, and it’s economy. The only ones that will be hurt by this bill are people that are breaking the law already. Greedy businesses that profit off of hiring illegal workers and paying them slave wages.
Call Gov. Napolitano’s Office NOW and tell her NOT TO VETO HB-2779.
Tell her to LET THIS NEEDED LEGISLATION PASS.