THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pearce HB2779: "Fair and Legal Employment Act"

Lots of criminal activity has been sanctioned here, and I've never really known Arizona to be "fair" to low-wage workers, whatever their citizenship. Somehow this doesn't seem to be fair - but they'll make it legal if they can.

I think we need to find a way to encourage some of these guys like Pearce to leave - think of a good law for them, one they break just by waking up in the morning, and we'll see if we can't get it proposed somewhere.
------------from russellpearce.com---------------

Let’s Get the Facts Straight about HB2779.

Arizona’s “Fair and Legal Employment Act” will prove to be one the most effective and non-discriminatory laws enacted anywhere in the United States.  It will truly prevent illegal aliens from obtaining permanent employment in this state and will serve as an example of real comprehensive immigration reform for the rest of our nation.

The disinformation campaign on HB2779 would have made a Soviet propagandist proud.

The politicking regarding Arizona's worksite enforcement law is at a full swing, it is creating real concern with the illegal employers, ACLU and the open border crowd.

In his decision to refuse to block HB2779 Judge Wake said, "Those who suffer the most from unauthorized alien labor are those whom federal and Arizona law most explicitly protect. They are the competing lawful workers, many unskilled, low-wage, sometimes near or under the margin of poverty, who strain in individual competition and in a wage economy depressed by the great and expanding number of people who will work for less.

In 1986, Congress made it clear employers can only hire legal workers and to do otherwise is a felony.  Finally as of January, 2008, employers throughout the state will be required to verify work eligibility status of all new employees, and they must employ only legal workers as required by federal and Arizona law.

Using the E-Verify Program puts the responsibility for verifying the documents on the government, with a 99.7% accuracy.  Employees have ample opportunity to prove their right to work and employers who properly use the system will have a strong defense against any criminal or civil action.

The people of Arizona should be proud that we are the first state to enact legislation that will truly prevent illegal immigrants from working in Arizona and put Americans and legal businesses first.

This law only punishes businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants. Repeated violations could result in the business losing its licenses to operate.

The ACLU, the open border crowd and the Arizona Chamber and those that rely on illegals argue it is unfair.  If you've moved to Arizona in the past few years and tried to get a driver's license and were successful, I think there's a good chance you can prove your citizenship to a potential employer.

The law is simply, don't hire an illegal alien and you will never have to worry about the law.

Honest mistakes or deception by an illegal aren't grounds for action by law enforcement against a business.

We have instituted the toughest worksite enforcement laws in the nation. To be sure, the new law is first and foremost fair.

For far too long, we have turned our backs on the root cause of illegal immigration.

I have sponsored other measures to protect citizens and taxpayers from fraud from illegal's by requiring proof of eligibility and by demanding proof of legal presence in the U.S.  

Until 2006, I had been unsuccessful in passing a bill to clamp down on employers. That year, Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed the legislation in an effort to protect business interests and her liberal base.

In the 2006 election, four illegal alien propositions passed with more than 70 percent support.  So in 2007, she couldn't ignore the will of Arizonans anymore and signed my bill.

And ever since then, we have heard anecdotes of illegal's packing up and moving home or onto another state. Businesses that cater to illegal's report slower sales. Businesses that hire illegal's report their employees are leaving and they will have to raise wages to attract new and legal workers. In last week's Arizona Republic, Yuma lettuce growers reported they had to raise wages to attract legal workers.
 
Soon, wages will rise to meet the demand for labor across all sectors. Last year, voters raised the state's minimum wage. Ridding Arizona of illegal workers, however, will do more to increase pay for workers than any artificial baseline imposed by government.

Some argue prices for goods and services will rise. But what we fail to realize is that we already are paying for those goods and services. More than $1 billion of our state budget goes to educating illegal's, Maricopa County Hospital loses $2 million every week due to uncompensated care.

With illegal immigration on the decline, benefits go far beyond the economic.

Arizona leads the nation in crime stats such as car thefts and Phoenix is one of the most violent large cities in the nation. The reason: illegal immigration and the crime associated with it. Smugglers transport their human and drug cargo into and through the state. Their gun battles rage along our freeways and they rent houses in our neighborhoods and bring violence to our communities.

As one of the leaders to curb illegal immigration in Arizona, all I can say is, our efforts are working.

If we have reversed that trend and encouraged those here to leave, then it is a great start.

I am excited about the direction Arizona is headed. After years of ignoring the consequences of illegal immigration and after beating back attempts to in Congress to provide amnesty to illegal's, we are finally going forward.

We will do it by putting America and Americans first and protecting honest businesses and the taxpayer.

 Russell

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