The Legislator of the Year award should go to Rep. Russell Pearce.
He sponsored legislation in Arizona, House Bill 2779, which was just signed into law by Governor Janet Napolitano in which Arizona takes immigration enforcement into its own hands. The text of the law is here.
The law which drew bipartisan support in the House and Senate, punishes employers who "knowingly" hire illegal immigrants by suspending their business licenses. On a second offense, a business could lose its license altogether. In signing it, Napolitano said the bill was needed, but in her signature letter she pointed to areas she wanted changed, such as additional funding and protections for critical businesses such as power plants and hospitals. Now Napolitano, is seeking a special session with the hopes of watering down this legislation that she signed and that was sponsored by Rep. Pearce.
Please take the time to listen to the MP3 audio of Arizona State Representative Russell Pearce, speaking with Dan Lovallo on WDRC radio about the passing of "The Legal Arizona Workers Act" and the pressing need for additional immigration reform and immediate border control in Arizona. He'll also explain why the Governor had to sign this bill into law.
Regarding States rights and Local Law Enforcement’s Inherent Authority of Immigration Law on this issue, Rep. Pearce has written this:
The 1996 Immigration Control Act made it clear local law enforcement could enforce immigration law. The courts have agreed.Read more here.
Congress has firmly established that there is a significant public interest in the effective enforcement of immigration law. In the absence of a limitation on local enforcement powers, the states are bound by the Supremacy Clause of the United ‘States Constitution to enforce violations of the federal immigration laws. “The statutory law of the United States is part of the law of each state just as if it were written into state statutory law.”
Often a misunderstanding of the relationship between federal criminal and immigration law causes one to believe being present in the U.S. in violation of immigration law is civil and “not a crime” and is clearly wrong. The enforcement role given to local government by the Constitution and the Congress is clear. Unsanctioned entry into the United States is a crime.
State and local law enforcement officials have the general power to investigate and arrest violators of federal immigration statutes without prior INS knowledge or approval, as long as state law does not restrict such general power.
The U.S. has a “compelling interest” in the criminal prosecution of immigration law violators, which is a part of a comprehensive, essential sovereign policy of uniform immigration law enforcement.
Furthermore he says this:
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: America is a nation of immigrants. People from all parts of the world dream of coming to America for freedom, opportunity and the chance to be the best they can be. We should encourage legal immigration and always discourage illegal immigration, yet Republicans and Democrats in DC are terrified to oppose illegal immigration out of fear that they will be labeled racist. This assertion is ridiculous. There is nothing racist about upholding the law. We need representatives who are willing to speak clearly for legal immigration and speak clearly against illegal immigration.We have legislators here in CT who attempted similar legislation this past session and I applaud them as well. Unfortunately their attempts were unsuccessful:
Rep. Witkos : HB 5064 AN ACT CONCERNING EMPLOYMENT OF ALIENS NOT ENTITLED TO LAWFUL RESIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES.
Sen Cappiello: SB 931 AN ACT CONCERNING THE HIRING OF UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS BY CONTRACTORS. This bill was totally changed in the Labor committee and the intent was lost. The bill was signed by the Governor and ended up as AN ACT CONCERNING PENALTIES FOR CONCEALING EMPLOYMENT OR OTHER INFORMATION RELATED TO WORKERS' COMPENSATION PREMIUMS.
Shamefully, other CT lawmakers approved HB5656 which would have given illegal aliens in-state tuition breaks at our state colleges. Thankfully, Governor Rell vetoed it.
If the Federal Government refuses to act to secure our borders, and uphold existing laws, and fix the immigration morass of the INS, then it is within State's rights to protect their economies and their people from what has been allowed to continue regarding illegal immigration. Arizona has set an example.. and the solution is simple: if illegal aliens cannot get employment then they will go back to wherever it is that they came from, and they will have no incentive to come here. If we stop giving them free social services and other benefits, which are draining our tax money away from the things that we really need to spend it on, then they will no longer come here.
As for the excuse that "no one wants to do those jobs" and we'll not have produce on our tables, or our bathrooms cleaned, or our gardens weeded... well we have plenty of able bodied people on welfare .. put them to work.. but the truth is that Americans and other documented workers won't "do those jobs" for the wages illegals are getting.. but they'll do those jobs if you pay them a proper wage; and by the way, when the Swift meat packing plant in Colorado was raided there were lines of American citizens around the block who came to take over those jobs. Allowing illegals to continue working for these employers only enables the existence of second class slave labor that is being taken advantage of in order for businesses to hire them for cheaper wages over citizens who would not stand for that kind of treatment. Newsflash.. slavery was abolished a long time ago in this country; we should not allow it to return like this.
Regarding immigration: Enter the USA legally and abide by the laws of this country, or go home.
Bonus feature of this blogpost:
Retired INS Special Agent, Michael Cutler, was also interviewedby Brad Davis on WDRC and spoke about immigration, 'doctor visas' and border security. The interview on Mp3 audio is also worth listening to.