State Capitol News
3:58 am
Tue July 1, 2008

Employer Sanctions Law Could be Diluted by Voters

Phoenix, AZ – Voters are likely going to get a chance to do what lawmakers and a federal judges have so far rejected: dilute the state's new employer sanctions law. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer explains the initiative petitions which were filed today.


The measure, like the law that took effect January 1st, lets a
judge suspend the licenses of any firms which knowingly hire
undocumented workers. A second violation puts the company out of
business. But this initiative, being financed by business
interests, requires a prosecutor to prove the owner or officer of
the firm had -- quote -- actual knowledge -- unquote -- that an
employee is here illegally. And it provides absolute immunity
from prosecution for companies that follow what federal law
already requires. Another difference is that, unlike the state
law, it requires a signed complaint before prosecutors can
investigate a firm. Attorney Andrew Pacheco said that's only
fair.

(Allowing anonymous complaints is a recipe for mayhem by union
members who might want to close down a non-union shop, radical
environmentalists that might want to close down a business, or
even just a business competitor.)

He said the fact that a company may eventually be proven innocent
is of little comfort once it has had to go through the time and
expense of defending itself.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.