Tom Tancredo

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:

“Stop Illegal 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 an job applicant is here legally. Arizonans 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 employer sanction 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.

Tom Tancredo

Tom Tancredo represented Colorado's 6th Congressional District from 1999 until 2009 where he chaired the 100+ member bipartisan Immigration Reform Caucus. He currently serves as co-chairman of Team America PAC and president of the Rocky Mountain Foundation. He authored "In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America's Border and Security.