October 23, 2008
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
pay under-the-table in cash,
which fuels illegal immigration in
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.
The Stop Illegal Hiring Act
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
Hazleton, PA and
Farmers Branch, TX to states like
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.
Unfortunately, Arizonans 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: if they want to stop illegal hiring, they need to vote no on Prop 202,—the Stop Illegal Hiring Act.