Wednesday, August 27, 2008


In November, remember to vote NO on the Initiative titled "Stop Illegal Hiring." Contrary to its dishonest title, this Initiaitve would destroy the Employer Sanctions Laws passed by the legislature during the last two years.

These laws have been critical to helping Arizona try and stop the incentive for employer hiring of illegal aliens. Now that employers know there will be REAL consequences if they knowingly hire illegal aliens in Arizona, employers that have purposefully broken the law in the past are faced with the choices of following the law or going out of business. If businesses must cheat in order to get ahead, then they should not be in business in the first place.

The following talks about the Initiative which is being sponsored by many of the businesses that have hired the most illegal alien labor in the past:

Arizona SIHA Initiative

The Stop Illegal Hiring Act ("SIHA") ballot initiative has been certified by the Arizona Secretary of State. Drafters allege that the SIHA initiative, as its name suggests, would enhance the current Arizona Employer Sanctions Law. However, the title is misleading. The initiative, rather than enhancing, effectively guts the pioneering enforcement mechanisms in Arizona's current law.

The current Arizona law mandates that covered business entities register with the federal E-Verify program. E-Verify allows the employer to quickly and reliably confirm the work authorization status of a new hire online, and makes clear to employers that they are not to hire unauthorized aliens. For noncitizens, it also provides a photo that the business can compare to the identification document presented by the newly hired worker. This feature provides important additional protection against rapidly spreading identity theft crimes.

By making E-Verify use optional, SIHA would strip the Employer Sanctions law of any practical incentive to comply with employer sanctions laws. Prevention of illegal employment is the most effective means of deterring illegal immigration. The SIHA initiative will, if successful, remove the requirement for enrollment in the E-verify program; permit an employer's compliance with the I-9 paperwork process to serve as a non-rebuttable presumption that they have not violated the law; and, thus, limit the statute's effectiveness to employers and employees located in Arizona.

Allowing compliance with the I-9 process to serve as a "non-rebuttable presumption of innocence" will make it much harder to sanction a covered Arizona business owner from employing unauthorized aliens. The I-9 process requires an employer to receive two forms of identification "verifying" that a person has a lawful status, and to maintain a copy of the I-9 form in his file. However, this process is not enforced by the federal government. Therefore, an employer could - if not required to enroll in the E-verify program - accept two falsified forms of documentation from an illegal alien. Granting a "nonrebuttable presumption of innocence" to employers who merely accept false documents and fill out a non-enforceable I-9 form only encourages those employers to continue employing unauthorized aliens in violation of federal law.

Understandably, Arizona voters could easily be tricked into approving this initiative on the false premise that it provides harsher penalties for companies employing illegal aliens. Once enacted through the initiative process, it will be very difficult for the state legislature to amend or improve the law in the future. Activists and elected officials in Arizona need to protect the electorate and the public from the disinformation behind the SIHA initiative.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Explanation of this. I didn't know about this and how it worked. Thanks Chair.