For those still trying to get a handle on the new Arizona Employer's Sanctions bill signed into law last week by Governor Napolitano, here are the main points:
1) Identity fraud, including for employment purposes, is a felony.
2) Beginning January 1, 2008, every employer must verify eligibility of all newly hired employees through the federal Basic Pilot Program.
3) Anyone can file a complaint against an employer hiring illegal aliens. The Attorney General or County Attorney must investigate every complaint. It is a misdemeanor to frivolous complaint against an employer.
4) Assuming the complaint is legitimate, Attorney General or County Attorney must:
a. Notify federal immigration, customs and local law enforcement agencies.
b. File a lawsuit against the employer. (Courts are required to expedite the lawsuit.)
5) For a first offense of “knowingly” hiring an illegal worker:
a. The employer must terminate the illegal workers.
b. The employer will serve three years probation during which the employer must file quarterly reports documenting all new hires where the illegal workers were employed.
c. All employer licenses (uncluding business license) will be suspended unless within three days after the court order, the employer signs an affidavit stating that it has released all illegal workers and will not knowingly or intentionally hire illegal workers. If a second violation, all licenses are permanently revoked.
6) For a first offense of "intentionally" hiring an illegal worker:
a. Same as "a" above.
b. The employer will serve a five year probation and file quarterly reports documenting all new hires.
c. Same as "c" above except licenses will be suspended for a minimum of ten days. A second violation also gets all licenses permanently revoked.
7) "knowingly" hiring means that at some point from initial hiring process to later on, the employer knew about it and hired the illegal worker, or kept them on, anyway. "Intentionally" refers to making a concerted effort to employ illegal workers.
A couple of thoughts: The penalties seem quite reasonable, but the Basic Pilot program is a disaster. Considering that the Swift Meat Packers used it to absolve themselves of responsibility hiring illegals, it gives cause for concern. The identity fraud provision is long-overdue considering we live in the identity fraud capital of the country. I like the fact that courts have to expedite the process