Posted on October 24, 2008

Arizona’s Illegal Hire Sham

Tom Tancredo,, 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, {snip} “Stop Illegal Hiring.”

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 {snip} 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. {snip}

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.


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.


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.