Friday, July 13, 2007

The Misguided Few

According to Arizona Central, here is the group looking for someone that they can make an example of for supporting the Employer Sanctions Bill:
"The coalition, Wake Up Arizona!, counts Valley McDonald's franchiser Mac Magruder, Tucson car dealer Jim Click, former Phoenix Suns Chief Executive Jerry Colangelo and Meritage Homes Chief Executive Steve Hilton among its supporters."

Some of these employers may be hiring illegal workers, others maybe just a bit paranoid. Jim Click, for instance, was quoted as saying "I've got my whole life invested in this business...What if my service manager turns his head, or fakes it (when hiring a worker)? I lose my license? Is that fair? I don't think so."

This is silly. Of course it's fair. Jim is a smart businessman. He knows that if his service manager was caught cheating customers, dumping solvents in the sewer, or otherwise breaking the law, Jim would be losing his license. He knows it would only make sense that breaking hiring laws wouldn't be any different.

The issue nobody is citing is the concern about the accuracy of the Basic Pilot System for checking workers' status. That would be my main concern having had to deal with the frustrations and risks of hiring green card workers and trying to be sure their documents were legitimate without getting sued by the worker for being cautious. That's what this group should be working to improve.

Unfortunately, for some it's more of a power game, and the same group that gave us Gabby Giffords will end up giving up more Republican seats to Democrats, state or federal, if they succeed. But I don't think they will. There's a reason the bill passed with a veto-proof majority, And there's also a reason why some of the largest Chambers are supporting the bill pushing the state Chamber back against this group. It's because most employers hire legal workers and expect their competitors to do the same. Employers' biggest concern is making sure compliance with the law is not unduly burdensome and that they will be in no danger of problems if they follow the law.

If this group is serious about making a contribution to the business community, they should join with the mainstream and help to improve the law, and use their resources productively instead of further alienating themselves from the GOP.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

AZAce writes, "This is silly. Of course it's fair."

Man, I don't know. If my boss screws up, cheats, breaks the law and gets caught and we get shut down, I lose my job.

I don't want to pay the price for some knucklehead in HR thinking he can play fast and loose with the rules. Employer sanctions? Sure. But don't make me the price when I don't have anything to do with hiring.

GOP Boomer Gal said...

The key is for the feds to check the SSNs in a timely manner. But will they? With today's technology, there is no excuse for this not happening.

AZAce said...

gop boomer gal,

You're exactly right. The Feds are the weak link. The state should be hounding the feds to do this in a timely manner. Likewise, there should be some consideration in the law for good faith effort by employers trying to comply.

Anonymous said...

Guys, what about my issue? Am I being paranoid?

If HR screws up and we're shut down, I lose my job. I have nothing to do with hiring and I'm the one to pay the price.

This is not fair.

Sirocco said...

The problem with the feds being able to check SSNs quickly (and I don't _know_ this, just speaking generally) is so many of their software programs are poorly implemented, I have no real faith this one would be implemented correctly (although, it _ought_ to be quite easy to do).

Framer said...

Sirocco,

I bet YOU could implement it correctly. Honestly the programming side of it isn't that hard (as you well know). The two difficult aspects would be making sure the data available to the program is accurate and timely as well as end user training. The latter is the sticking point. The interface would have to be designed by people that design popular web interfaces like Itunes and Google rather than standard government issue.

Contracting the interface out would also probably be cheaper than doing it in-house.

As far as anonymous's issue. Yes that could be a problem, that is why I would lean toward being somewhat understanding on the first offense. I guarantee you however, that should the law look like it will be enforced evenly, businesses would comply unless the illegal worker seemed by all rights to be legit. Especially if they had been written up and knew a second strike would be a disaster. That is also why it would be important to have a failsafe method of verification, that could absolve the business owner if they did their due diligence.

The good news is that if you are in an industry where business like yours are being shut down due to this law, there are likely be more of these types of jobs available in the long run at higher pay for those who are playing by the rules. Take being a framer for instance. . .

roger said...

This is the beginning of the end for Republicans. Anti-immigration nuttism was fine until you turned on your own. The lawsuit has few but there are many many more traditional biz GOP that hate this and the extremists who support it.

Might this be why Pullen's party gets fewer funds?

And now a lawsuit from those who claim to hate them.

Sirocco said...

Framer,

Aye, I suspect I could do a decent job of the software ... which is why I said is _should_ be easy. The problem is, for whatever reason (and I have my opinions), a lot of government software is poorly designed (and I have dug into the guts of a fair bit of federal government software) ... and I agree with you about the interface issue as well.

However, I fully expect the project to be botched. Then, after it's botched, they'll call someone like me to dig into the guts of everything and tell them how its botched. Then they won't follow the recommendations and it will remain botched, or be botched in some whole new way. That's just how the system works.

Framer said...

Sirocco,

"Botched in a whole new way" being the most likely.

There is hope however. Social Security Online is using third party best-of-breed software for client interface. I believe it is hosted by the vendor as well. Pretty good deal for the users of the site, and the taxpayer as well.

Roger,

It cuts both ways, if Democrats want to jump on fighting the employee sanctions law, they will reap a negative reward for that as well. Look at the vote totals that passed the act. It was hardly a profile in courage for those who may have been opposed to the act. The governor has made constant calls for expanded sanction laws, because it is popular with the people.

Sirocco said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sirocco said...

Framer,

Any "negative reward" for Dems would likely come from those not generally inclined to vote for Dems anyway.

I favor increased enforcement, but it's not as if this bill were killed I would stop voting for Dems. It's not a make-or-beak info for me.

Framer said...

Indeed,

But that makes a point. There isn't a tremendous amount of energy from a large range of people against the bill, you included.

It is the same calculus as the immigration bill. Opponents to the bill need to show and convince people that the bill is bad. It looks like they are going to forgo doing that in favor of lawsuits. If this is the route you go, you have basically already lost the political battle.

I'll go on record right now that the first lawsuit is dismissed for lack of standing. As time goes by, the reality of the law will disprove the hype, and the job of "convincing" the electorate will be much harder.

AZAce said...

Anonymous,

There is nothing unusual in this law as far as the legitimate employee is concerned. When you work for someone, you are always dependent on the employer and their willingness to comply with the law, i.e. Enron, Adelphia, Worldco... If your current employer has integrity, you have much less to worry about than if he or she has none. If you're in the latter situation, I would recommend you find another employer in any case. If it isn't this law that gets them, it will be something else that does.

AZAce said...

In addition to Arizona, Tennessee, Georgia, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Illinois have passed similar laws with license revocation as a penalty. Other states are said to have similar bills moving through their legislatures that are expected to pass. They all rely on the federal system with the same concerns we have. Obviously, a huge part of the problem is with fake ID documents and information floating all over the place that have worked their way into the system. It will take some doing to clean it up so that it's accurate.

roger said...

Framer,

I don't think it cuts both ways at all. I think there was a well organized group of people, angry people, that have played the race card over and over with regard to immigration...and contrary to what most studies tell us about how it affects our economy.

It is going to be interesting how long these conservative think tanks that generate the "data" behind the anger will exist after the angries continue to turn on their business constituents. Inflamatory yes, but true.

I have been saying all along that we do not have the workforce to support the growth that is occuring in S. Arizona. This is also true in much of America.

Immigration and the 12 million here illegally have supported our economy when we didn't have enough workers. Study after study shows this. Southern Arizona business and our economy will be doomed if there is no compromise on this issue and if the "get tough" approach continues to win out.

THIS is why smart business men like those cited in this post are willing to sue, and challenge the extremists in your party, to keep you from ruining our economy.

Last, today's news is that Russell Pearce plans a primary challenge against Jeff Flake...too liberal and too weak on immigration he says. Melvin versus Hershberger too.

You are destroying your own party on this issue. The same thing that happened to Randy Graf will happen here. Some of you blame business for this, you should look at and blame yourselves.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you guys are confident that you work for employers that are 100% squeaky clean.

I think I do too, but I'll never be 100% sure. I'm not willing to sacrifice my job for HR's mistake.

I can't support this law for that reason.

roger said...

Hey Anon,

I am with you, but this is what being tough on crime is all about, now isn't it? I guess this is what regulation is all about.

Anonymous said...

Anon,
Your HR person could already be discriminating, allowing sexual harrassment, etc. Or the shop guys might be dumping oil into the sewer. Are you against those laws as well? Kind of a strange position to take, isn't it?

Roger,

Why are the handfull of employers who are suing "smart business men" and everyone else "extremists?" The Democrats and Republicans that supported the bill (yes, it was overwhelmingly supported and signed by a Democrat governor) and the majority of employers that appear to be supporting it are all "extremists."

The "race card?" Plleeeeease! Let's see, Randy Graf is married to a hispanic, most border patrol agents are hispanic (and support the bill). Roger, you're the one hung up on race, here. Everyone else is talking about criminal behavior. Try looking at the issue without your race bias and it's hard to see any logic in your race-sided argument.

Shortage of workers? Where? The construction example everyone pointed to amounted to a flash in the pan that doesn't seem to hold water anymore. If we get to a point where we really do need more low-skilled labor, that's what green cards are for.

Anonymous said...

Anon here.

Roger,

I don't think my position is strange at all. Punish the bad guys. Just don't make *me* pay the price. I didn't do anything wrong.

Carl H said...

Lets face it, what is going on here is that some employers believe that they do not have to obey any stinking laws.

Currently it is illegal to hire illegal aliens, but, this law is so seldom enforced that an employer is more likely to be struck by lightning than to have this law enforced on them. Also, in the extremely rare cases where this law is enforced, the sanctions are laughably minimal fines.

I can tell you one thing, I will never by a car from Jim Click, and urge others to boycot that arrogant jerk.