Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

April 11, 2007


Host: Larry Lemmons

Illegal Immigration – Employer Sanctions Ordinance


  • From a recently passed ordinance by the Payson Town Council, to a bill making its way through the Arizona Legislature, we examine government efforts to stop businesses from hiring undocumented workers. Streaming video of the March 15, 2007 Payson Town Council meeting on Ordinance 709 (dealing with sanctions for employers who hire illegal immigrants) is available on the Payson Web site: http://www.ci.payson.az.us/
Guests:
  • Kyrsten Sinema - State Representative, Phoenix
  • Russell Pearce - State Representative, Mesa
Category: Immigration

View Transcript
Larry Lemmons:
Tonight on "Horizon," an Arizona town that plans to punish local businesses that hire illegal immigrants. We'll find out what state lawmakers are doing to address the issue. And we'll take a look at the new tower and other changes taking place at Sky Harbor Airport. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
Good evening, I'm Larry Lemmons, welcome to "Horizon." Governor Janet Napolitano accompanied President Bush on his visit to Yuma, Monday, where he checked on the progress of his border initiatives. Today, at her weekly press briefing, the governor was asked what the state can do to help Yuma farmers get workers back and forth across the border.

Janet Napolitano:
Not a whole lot. I mean, we can do some things. Like, for example, we ask the -- there's a woman named Donna De Latorres, she is based in Tucson but she's in customs. She basically runs the land ports in the Arizona border to keep extra lanes open, to facilitate traffic during harvest season and so forth. But the whole problem is representative of the fact that Congress hasn't yet passed comprehensive immigration reform. And the plain fact of the matter is that they'd better do it this year because next year they'll say, well, it's a presidential election year. We can't do it. Then the next year there will be another reason and another reason. And this problem does not get any better with time. All the arguments have been fairly aired and there are some very solid proposals out there. You don't have to like 100\% of them or what have you. But the plain facts is unless you deal with the temporary worker issues and visas and I.D.'s and tamper-proof documents, unless you have real employer sanctions and the staff up on the law enforcement side so you can enforce them, unless you deal realistically and firmly with those who have already crossed illegally into the United States you're not going to solve the underlying problem. The bills that are being floated around in Congress including the Flake-Gutierrez bill, which is also called the Strive Act, are now beginning to line out all those elements. That's what we were looking for.

Larry Lemmons:
One bill working its way to the governor is an attempt to crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers. I'll talk with state lawmakers about that effort in a few minutes. But first, David Majure takes us to an Arizona town that isn't waiting for the state to solve the problem.

David Majure:
For many valley residents looking for a quick escape from the blistering summer heat, Payson, Arizona offers a refreshing retreat to a bit of calm, cool paradise. But according to town mayor, Bob Edwards, Payson has a problem.

Bob Edwards:
We have a pretty large problem, as does all of Arizona, probably. But yes, this is a -- there was a couple of developments that came in here that brought in a lot of apparently illegal workers a few years back. And as a result, we have a problem.

David Majure:
He says companies that hire illegal workers are making life difficult for employers who abide by the law.

Butch Klein:
Some of the businesses up here are just filling their places up with folks that are willing to work for less than good wages. Because they are here illegally.

David Majure:
Butch Klein and Dennis Schwebs are owners of a Payson moving company. They say they simply can't compete with companies that hire undocumented workers.

Butch Klein:
We want to keep it where I have the same ability to bid a job as another fellow does it. Happens not only through my business but also the construction business up here. It's huge. With the landscaping business it's huge. Because the fast food industry is totally in chaos over it. So you know it's hard to for one fellow to bid one way when another fellow is getting so much of a break. A lot of what we pay out is in wages.

Bob Edwards:
Again, I guess we solved the issue of --

David Majure:
Complaints from local businesses prompted the Payson town council to draft a new ordinance. It seeks to level the playing field by requiring employers to sign an affidavit swearing their employees are legal residents. A company that violates that promise will lose its business license. To get the license back, it must fire the undocumented workers and pay a $500 fine.

Bob Edwards:
We catch them again; they will then pay a double fine. If we catch them again, then they're out of business in Payson. They will have to go somewhere else to do business.

David Majure:
Simply put, three strikes and you're out.

David Majure:
Gloria Anaya calls the ordinance an injustice. She and her family own a Mexican restaurant in Payson. They've worked hard to build the business, and Anaya does not want to lose it. As far as she knows, all her employees are in the country legally, but she says she's no immigration expert.

Gloria Anaya:
If we aren't capable to see when people come ask us to work whether the documents are legal or not. We aren't going to distinguish, we don't know. So we give them jobs.

Tina Bruess:
The chamber does not have an official position.

David Majure:
Tina Bruess, executive director of the local chamber of commerce, says her members are divided but not exactly silent on the issue.

Tina Bruess:
The proposed new ordinance could render Payson a less attractive business location.

David Majure:
Bruess read letters she read from chamber members at the March 15th town council meeting. This video was provided by the town of Payson.

Tina Bruess:
Businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers should face stiff penalties. They create an uneven playing field for businesses that make their very best efforts to comply with the laws.

Tina Bruess:
When I spoke to the town council at the first reading of this ordinance several weeks ago, I went and read portions of letters that I have received from various members that have strong feelings on this both pro and con. Wanted their thoughts and comments heard and made public. But for fear of retaliation to themselves or to their business, they were not willing to go public and go on the record.

Tina Bruess:
Several businesses have lost trained and legal employees as a result of this potential ordinance. Not coincidentally, many of them have been American born but with Hispanic surnames. And they have moved out of the Payson area because they have felt uncomfortable in the present environment. The likely result of this process will be to make businesses reluctant to risk town sanctions and simply not hire Hispanics. Not hiring Hispanics will reduce business exposure from accepting legitimate-appearing but counterfeit documentation. The downside of a decision not to hire anyone who could possibly have false documentation is a very real potential for ACLU and EEOC discrimination lawsuits.

Payson resident:
And how would we handle enforcement? We will be profiling. There is no way around it.

David Majure:
Several Payson residents didn't have a problem publicly expressing their opinions.

Payson resident: The word illegal means just that. You're here illegally.

Payson Resident:
I have a host of concerns about how it is going to be implemented. Because the federal government with all their resources haven't been able to solve the problem.

David Majure:
The Payson town council went on to approve ordinance 709 by a vote of 5-2. One thing the dissenters were opposed to was a provision that prohibited landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. That provision was removed April 5 when the town council voted unanimously to amend the ordinance.

Bob Edwards:
That wasn't what we were aiming at originally. So it wasn't hard for us to take it out. Plus from the bookkeeping and enforcing ability it became more trouble than it was going to be worth.

David Majure:
One thing Payson wants to avoid are the lawsuits facing other cities and towns across the U.S. that have passed similar ordinances. Then there are the unintended consequences of potential labor shortages and other economic and social problems that may or may not occur.

Bob Edwards:
Certainly there's going to be things that we haven't thought of. That's part of the game. We have a council, I think, that's very real. I think it's one of the best councils we've had here. We'll bring it back. If we've got problems we'll deal with them. We aren't going to cause a cancer to happen in the town because of this. But we'll deal with it.

David Majure:
For now, Payson businesses will have to deal with the ordinance when it goes into effect July 1. Not exactly the most desirable of circumstances for Gloria Anaya and some other Payson business owners.

Butch Klein:
It's a terrible position to be put in. But businesses are also the ones that brought this problem on. And when you want to try and spike it a little bit and go for cheaper wages and you say, okay, I don't care about where these ten guys came from, you're part of the problem. You brought it on. So now you saddle that bronco and let's see if you can ride it.

Larry Lemmons:
Joining me to talk about what they're doing to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants are Representative Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix and Mesa Representative Russell Pearce, the sponsor of house bill 2779 that deals with employer sanctions. It's pretty remarkable, isn't it, that the state got impatient waiting for the federal government to take charge and now the municipalities are getting impatient waiting for the state to take charge. Is this a good thing? Thinking about Hazelton, Pennsylvania and what occurred up there, the lawsuits? Representative Sinema, should more cities be doing this?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I think there are some very legitimate concerns that are being raised by having local governments enact these kinds of ordinances. It's difficult for even the federal government, much less the state to enact these kinds of laws. Although I think we can all agree that we do want to hold employers accountable, especially those employers who are knowingly and willfully violating the law and exploiting workers and cheating other business owners by hiring cheaper labor and cheating the system. I think some of the issues that we'll face are the ones that we've seen in Hazelton and other cities around the country. In that when a local government does this they may not have the tools or the resources to be able to provide those civil liberties, protection to protect them from a lawsuit or maybe haven't put enough steps in place ahead of time to adequately protect those rights while still protecting the government. By doing what it wants to legitimately. I think we can all agree should be doing by ensuring that employers are hiring lawful and legal workers.

Larry Lemmons:
Representative Pearce, it is a relatively recent phenomenon that they're actually going after employers. For a long time they were going after the supply rather than the demand. But now obviously there is a lot of pressure to do just that.

Russell Perce:
Actually, I ran this bill six years in a row on employer sanctions. It's not new.

Larry Lemmons:
It hasn't gone through.

Russell Pearce:
Last year it did and the governor vetoed it. It didn't before that and you're right. Last year we did get a bill together and she vetoed it. People don't understand. They fail to understand the relationship of the federal government with the states. The states have inherent authority to enforce federal law, fact have inherent responsibility and to continue to ignore that fact -- Payson is not unique. Lake Havasu is doing the same thing. Gilbert is talking about the same thing.

Larry Lemmons:
What Lake Havasu is doing is employer sanctions ordinance applies only to employers that contract with the city. Is that correct?

Russell Pearce:
Well they have not passed yet. There's a little bit more limiting. But 84 cities across the country are now doing this same kind of stuff. Yeah. Are they going to be subject the lawsuits? Yeah. Because the far left, these groups continue to sue every chance they get because they absolutely --

Larry Lemmons:
ACLU --

Russell Pearce:
Yeah. The ACLU joins right with them. Some of the greatest anti-American groups known. And they continue to attack America and the law. They're anarchists. They simply continue to fight reasonable laws to protect -- we're not creating new law. We're enforcing existing law. It's been a law since 1986 when they gave amnesty and then said now we're going to get tough on employers. Secure the border. And yet we continue to ignore the damage to this country that comes with this invasion. And that's that Arizona is number one in crime, the second most violent state in the nation. We're the home invasion, carjacking, identity theft capital of the world. It's got to stop.

Larry Lemmons:
But all of those are not necessarily connected specifically with illegal immigration.

Russell Pearce:
Significant number are. And the data is there. In fact, heritage report, there's a new report out of numbers USA.

Kyrsten Sinema:
That's just not accurate.

Russell Pearce:
That is very accurate.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Numbers USA is a well-known rabid anti-immigrant organization that does not put out valid numbers. And we've seen this happen time and time again. And you know, there was evenly an article in the "Arizona Republic" last year commenting about the use of statistics that were misleading and sometimes inaccurate.

Larry Lemmons:
Before we go on, I would like to get to your bill, though, the fair and legal employment bill. Because let's talk about that.

Russell Pearce:
Well, first of all it is a fair and legal employment bill. Simply enforces existing law and it protects the honest employer against that employer who cheats, competes illegally unfairly and immorally and has a competitive advantage. Illegal competitive advantage. What it does is very simply say that you must sign, similar to in Payson in fact, they took the idea from what we are doing, that you must sign an affidavit to be an honest employer. I know that's tough on folks.

Larry Lemmons:
They need to knowingly say that they have not hired any illegal immigrants.

Russell Pearce:
Yeah they do, but they sign an affidavit saying they will not knowing hire someone that is in this country illegally. The problem is they have a system, a basic pilot verification program. If they would use that that would prove their case.

Larry Lemmons:
Before you go on, I wanted to say because we talked about this before, you actually do agree with the basic pilot program. This is something that you absolutely have agreement.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Absolutely. I don't have a problem with asking employers to sign an affidavit, either. As long as there is some understanding that an employer is signing an affidavit saying I'm not knowingly hiring someone whose undocumented. If they use the basic pilot program which I actually support and was a co-sponsor of Legislation. That we introduced…

Larry Lemmons:
What happened to that Legislation?

Kyrsten Sinema:
He killed it. But our legislation used the basic pilot program. Although there are some critics about the program it's the most effective program that we have in our country today to verify the accuracy of someone's documents. So we agree on that. The problem with the Legislation, there's some real problems in terms of drafting. There's no funding to the attorney general's office. It puts the burden on enforcement on local law enforcement without providing any additional resources. And I could go on and on.

Russell Pearce:
Let's back up a second. The amendment that she talked about that I killed had much more it than that. I support the basic pilot I voted to get it in. It's in the initiative that I'm pushing that will go to the citizens if this governor vetoes this bill like she has thirteen others. Truly I absolutely believe it's time. This is a local issue, not just a federal issue. We must get serious about -- and again, I use the term all the time, but Disneyland. Who's in the business of crowds learned a long time ago. You shut down the rides, the crowd goes home. You have to go after employers, to enforce the law and stop the silly nonsense that it's somebody else's responsibility.

Larry Lemmons:
Why isn't this bill going to work?

Kyrsten Sinema:
Well, the bill has some inherent problems with drafting. But what I would like to focus on is the initiative which was just referenced a moment ago. It's being used as a hammer over the Senate who has not yet addressed this Legislation. It's gone through some portions of the Senate but it hasn't yet gone to a full vote.

Larry Lemmons:
Would you mind explaining basically the situation? Because obviously Representative Pearce says we've got the initiative going with this coalition. He's working with Don Goldwater. If this doesn't pass, if the governor vetoes it, well then he's going ahead with the initiative. But I know the chambers are very worried about that. Because quite frankly, isn't that initiative going to be much more severe than the Legislation?

Kyrsten Sinema:
The initiative is incredibly severe. It's a death penalty for businesses. It's a one strike you're out. So Payson talked about three strikes you're out. I think we can all agree - in fact the bill we offered was three strikes you're out as well this initiative is a one strike you're out. So an individual who perhaps made a mistake and didn't know that they hired an undocumented person would lose their business license forever.

Larry Lemmons:
Do you agree with that?

Russell Pearce:
No I don't agree. Because it says knowingly. In fact, in the bill is a rebuttable presumption, if you use the basic pilot which does a social security number and does the legal alien database ran by Homeland Security. And by the way, you can go to every employer on it tomorrow and it would not hurt that system. They're prepared for that. But that system validates whether you have a legal employer. So if they really want to know to use that program. But in the initiative it is tough. We've had 20 years since 1986 to follow the law. We think it's about time. The standard is knowingly, though. We made it very clear. Plus it you're going to use the base pilot which is the real system to prove you're following the law, then we give you a rebuttable presumption that you're doing the right thing.

Larry Lemmons:
Is that to avoid what happened with the Swift Company when they tried to use that?

Russell Pearce:
They were fudging. That was an internal investigation where they were winking and nodding and cheating.

Kyrsten Sinema:
We don't know that yet.

Russell Pearce:
We do know that. Yes, we do know that. We have evidence, testimony for that.

Larry Lemmons:
But this is a way to avoid that same kind of thing. If the employer says I am using the basic pilot program.

Russell Pearce:
Rather than mandate them we are just saying if you use that program that prepared, designed for that purpose, that's what it's for is for employers and making sure that employee you hire is legitimate, we'll give you a rebuttable presumption and assume you're innocent.

Kyrsten Sinema:
We agree the basic pilot program is the best program out there. No one is going to deny that. And I think it is the best federally available program there is. But what it does is it checks to see if someone has a mismatch between their name and other identifying information and the social security and their work documents. What it doesn't catch are those individuals who assume other identities completely and wholly and use someone else's real social security information and assumes that person's name.

Larry Lemmons:
We only have about thirty seconds left.

Russell Pearce:
That's not quite accurate. Because you're always going to have fraudulent activity. I don't care what system you build. You're going to have people that are clever enough to get around it. That's not quite true because it matches a social security number. If there's a non-match it lets you know. If you're not a citizen you must be in the illegal alien database, you must have a visa to work here. It matches that database.

Larry Lemmons:
What are you going to do if the governor vetoes it?

Russell Pearce:
That is a good point. And that's the reason you have the initiative. It is not meant to be a hammer so much as the fact that this governor vetoed 13 bills. It's a high hurdle. There's a high hurdle.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Except for yesterday in the paper when asked if he would withdraw the initiative if the governor indeed signed the bill, both him and Mr. Goldwater -- well, Mr. Goldwater said he was going to move forward anyway. Mr. Pearce on two occasions said to the "Arizona Republic" that he will not promise to take away the initiative. So we don't know what's going to happen.

Russell Pearce:
It's not just Russell Pearce now. It is a coalition of great Americans.

Larry Lemmons:
Thank you very much, both of you, for speaking with us tonight.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
There's a new control tower at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. It was dedicated today in a ceremony attended by many dignitaries. Soon there'll be other big changes at the airport which served over 41 million people last year. I'll talk to an airport spokeswoman about those changes. But first, Mike Sauceda tells us more about the new tower.

Mike Sauceda:
A down to earth ribbon cutting ceremony for the new control tower at Sky Harbor Airport this morning. The new tower's 326 feet high and is among the tallest in the world.

Ed Moy:
I must admit, I have mixed feelings standing before you. You see, I was one of the young engineers who built the new tower, the one that we're going to tear down. And I can still remember standing on the rim of that tower before we placed the cab on that. And that was back in 1977. And I mean, who would have thought we would outgrow that tower? It was so tall; I swear you could see Tucson from that cab. And that speaks of the remarkable growth of aviation here.

Mike Sauceda:
The new tower gives air traffic controllers sweeping views of the entire airport, unlike the obstructed view of the old tower. It also gives them the latest in technology.

Ed Moy:
The technology here is state-of-the-art. And we have Terry Bristol to thank for that. The Stars equipment, knock on wood, has really been humming and has not made any noise or news for us. So we must not forget that this tower is a symbol. A symbol of the dedication of the people who built, install, and maintain this facility and the many other facilities around the airport. It's a symbol of the lasting commitment of the F.A.A. to the city of Phoenix and the many users of the aviation system.

Larry Lemmons:
Here now to tell us more about changes at the airport is Sky Harbor spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez. Thanks so much for coming down. That's like twice as tall as the tower that was there before?

Julie Rodriguez:
Yes, it is. It's very impressive. You can see it from all over the valley.

Larry Lemmons:
There, that's only just one thing, right, that's going on down at airport.

Julie Rodriguez:
That's right.

Larry Lemmons:
Tell us about some of the changes that are in the workings.

Julie Rodriguez:
As you know we're seeing record numbers of passengers. We've seen changes around the airport recently. We've renovated terminal 4. You've been in there recently.

Larry Lemmons:
That's my terminal.

Julie Rodriguez:
It accommodates most of our passengers. We have all new shops and restaurants in terminal 4. We're also doing some renovating to our oldest terminal, terminal 2. We've added lots of customer service amenities in the last couple years such as free WiFi, a second cell phone waiting lot, the stage and go lot. We're always looking at ways to improve customer service.

Larry Lemmons:
Tell us about… the thing that really excites me is this idea of an automated train that's going to be built. What about that? It's going to be hooked up to the light rail?

Julie Rodriguez:
That's right. We are planning on the automated train, we're working on the planning right now. The first leg of that train will connect from the light rail station at 44th street and Washington. It will run past the east economy lots and garages and then end up at terminal 4. And then the second leg, which will be built in the future, probably starting in 2016 and finished in 2020, will run through the rest of the airport all the way to the rental car center. But we're looking at that first leg from 44th street and Washington, the light rail station, all the way to terminal 4 to be finished probably around 2013.

Larry Lemmons:
When you say automated train, does that mean that there isn't a driver?

Julie Rodriguez:
It's a driverless train.

Larry Lemmons:
How is it powered?

Julie Rodriguez:
Not sure. It's tire-driven as far as I know. We're looking at designs right now. Haven't procured a contractor yet. So we don't even have a rendering of what it will look like. But it will be a driverless train. It will pick up passengers at the light rail station. And that will mean that if you're dropping off someone at the airport, you can drop them off at 44th Street and Washington and then you won't have to drive through the airport and navigate all that traffic. We're also hoping to have remote baggage check in at that location. So you stop at the location whether you take the light rail to that location or whether your friend or relative drops you off. Hopefully you can check your luggage at that location and then take the train into the airport.

Larry Lemmons:
How long do you think it will take to get then from 44th and Washington to the airport? You said there were about six stops along those terminals?

Julie Rodriguez:
Only one or two stops between that light rail station in terminal 4. So just a few minutes.

Larry Lemmons:
Well, we were talking about security and what with 9/11 and all the added security on there. How will that really help passengers in terms of time?

Julie Rodriguez:
Well, you won't have to check bags in the terminal. We're looking at being able to check bags at the remote baggage check in at the light rail station. As far as security, you'll still have to go through security, of course, when you get to the terminal. But it should save you some time of waiting in line at the ticket counter.

Larry Lemmons:
Again the idea is to get the -- go in the line, get your boarding pass beforehand. If you wanted to drive in, if you wanted to avoid all that traffic and I might add avoid all of those parking fees at the airport, too, that might definitely be the way to go.

Julie Rodriguez:
That's right. And if you've been to the airport recently you know that we have a lot of over 41 million people who come to Sky Harbor every year now. We're looking at over 50 million by 2015. So you can imagine the increase in roadway traffic if we don't have something like an automated train system. So you'll have the choice. You'll be able to use the automated train. You'll be able to have a friend or relative drop you off at the curb. You'll be able to park at the airport. All those options will still be available.

Larry Lemmons:
Julie Rodriguez thank you so much for coming down and telling us about the new airport changes. And thank you very much for joining us this Wednesday evening. I'm Larry Lemmons. Good night.

sky Harbor Int’l Airport


  • A new, much taller, air traffic control tower is dedicated at Sky Harbor. Find out what benefits it provides, and hear about some other changes taking place at the airport.
Guests:
  • Kyrsten Sinema - State Representative, Phoenix
  • Russell Pearce - State Representative, Mesa
Category: Business/Economy

View Transcript
Larry Lemmons:
Tonight on "Horizon," an Arizona town that plans to punish local businesses that hire illegal immigrants. We'll find out what state lawmakers are doing to address the issue. And we'll take a look at the new tower and other changes taking place at Sky Harbor Airport. Those stories next on "Horizon."

Announcer:
"Horizon" is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
Good evening, I'm Larry Lemmons, welcome to "Horizon." Governor Janet Napolitano accompanied President Bush on his visit to Yuma, Monday, where he checked on the progress of his border initiatives. Today, at her weekly press briefing, the governor was asked what the state can do to help Yuma farmers get workers back and forth across the border.

Janet Napolitano:
Not a whole lot. I mean, we can do some things. Like, for example, we ask the -- there's a woman named Donna De Latorres, she is based in Tucson but she's in customs. She basically runs the land ports in the Arizona border to keep extra lanes open, to facilitate traffic during harvest season and so forth. But the whole problem is representative of the fact that Congress hasn't yet passed comprehensive immigration reform. And the plain fact of the matter is that they'd better do it this year because next year they'll say, well, it's a presidential election year. We can't do it. Then the next year there will be another reason and another reason. And this problem does not get any better with time. All the arguments have been fairly aired and there are some very solid proposals out there. You don't have to like 100\% of them or what have you. But the plain facts is unless you deal with the temporary worker issues and visas and I.D.'s and tamper-proof documents, unless you have real employer sanctions and the staff up on the law enforcement side so you can enforce them, unless you deal realistically and firmly with those who have already crossed illegally into the United States you're not going to solve the underlying problem. The bills that are being floated around in Congress including the Flake-Gutierrez bill, which is also called the Strive Act, are now beginning to line out all those elements. That's what we were looking for.

Larry Lemmons:
One bill working its way to the governor is an attempt to crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers. I'll talk with state lawmakers about that effort in a few minutes. But first, David Majure takes us to an Arizona town that isn't waiting for the state to solve the problem.

David Majure:
For many valley residents looking for a quick escape from the blistering summer heat, Payson, Arizona offers a refreshing retreat to a bit of calm, cool paradise. But according to town mayor, Bob Edwards, Payson has a problem.

Bob Edwards:
We have a pretty large problem, as does all of Arizona, probably. But yes, this is a -- there was a couple of developments that came in here that brought in a lot of apparently illegal workers a few years back. And as a result, we have a problem.

David Majure:
He says companies that hire illegal workers are making life difficult for employers who abide by the law.

Butch Klein:
Some of the businesses up here are just filling their places up with folks that are willing to work for less than good wages. Because they are here illegally.

David Majure:
Butch Klein and Dennis Schwebs are owners of a Payson moving company. They say they simply can't compete with companies that hire undocumented workers.

Butch Klein:
We want to keep it where I have the same ability to bid a job as another fellow does it. Happens not only through my business but also the construction business up here. It's huge. With the landscaping business it's huge. Because the fast food industry is totally in chaos over it. So you know it's hard to for one fellow to bid one way when another fellow is getting so much of a break. A lot of what we pay out is in wages.

Bob Edwards:
Again, I guess we solved the issue of --

David Majure:
Complaints from local businesses prompted the Payson town council to draft a new ordinance. It seeks to level the playing field by requiring employers to sign an affidavit swearing their employees are legal residents. A company that violates that promise will lose its business license. To get the license back, it must fire the undocumented workers and pay a $500 fine.

Bob Edwards:
We catch them again; they will then pay a double fine. If we catch them again, then they're out of business in Payson. They will have to go somewhere else to do business.

David Majure:
Simply put, three strikes and you're out.

David Majure:
Gloria Anaya calls the ordinance an injustice. She and her family own a Mexican restaurant in Payson. They've worked hard to build the business, and Anaya does not want to lose it. As far as she knows, all her employees are in the country legally, but she says she's no immigration expert.

Gloria Anaya:
If we aren't capable to see when people come ask us to work whether the documents are legal or not. We aren't going to distinguish, we don't know. So we give them jobs.

Tina Bruess:
The chamber does not have an official position.

David Majure:
Tina Bruess, executive director of the local chamber of commerce, says her members are divided but not exactly silent on the issue.

Tina Bruess:
The proposed new ordinance could render Payson a less attractive business location.

David Majure:
Bruess read letters she read from chamber members at the March 15th town council meeting. This video was provided by the town of Payson.

Tina Bruess:
Businesses that knowingly hire undocumented workers should face stiff penalties. They create an uneven playing field for businesses that make their very best efforts to comply with the laws.

Tina Bruess:
When I spoke to the town council at the first reading of this ordinance several weeks ago, I went and read portions of letters that I have received from various members that have strong feelings on this both pro and con. Wanted their thoughts and comments heard and made public. But for fear of retaliation to themselves or to their business, they were not willing to go public and go on the record.

Tina Bruess:
Several businesses have lost trained and legal employees as a result of this potential ordinance. Not coincidentally, many of them have been American born but with Hispanic surnames. And they have moved out of the Payson area because they have felt uncomfortable in the present environment. The likely result of this process will be to make businesses reluctant to risk town sanctions and simply not hire Hispanics. Not hiring Hispanics will reduce business exposure from accepting legitimate-appearing but counterfeit documentation. The downside of a decision not to hire anyone who could possibly have false documentation is a very real potential for ACLU and EEOC discrimination lawsuits.

Payson resident:
And how would we handle enforcement? We will be profiling. There is no way around it.

David Majure:
Several Payson residents didn't have a problem publicly expressing their opinions.

Payson resident: The word illegal means just that. You're here illegally.

Payson Resident:
I have a host of concerns about how it is going to be implemented. Because the federal government with all their resources haven't been able to solve the problem.

David Majure:
The Payson town council went on to approve ordinance 709 by a vote of 5-2. One thing the dissenters were opposed to was a provision that prohibited landlords from renting to illegal immigrants. That provision was removed April 5 when the town council voted unanimously to amend the ordinance.

Bob Edwards:
That wasn't what we were aiming at originally. So it wasn't hard for us to take it out. Plus from the bookkeeping and enforcing ability it became more trouble than it was going to be worth.

David Majure:
One thing Payson wants to avoid are the lawsuits facing other cities and towns across the U.S. that have passed similar ordinances. Then there are the unintended consequences of potential labor shortages and other economic and social problems that may or may not occur.

Bob Edwards:
Certainly there's going to be things that we haven't thought of. That's part of the game. We have a council, I think, that's very real. I think it's one of the best councils we've had here. We'll bring it back. If we've got problems we'll deal with them. We aren't going to cause a cancer to happen in the town because of this. But we'll deal with it.

David Majure:
For now, Payson businesses will have to deal with the ordinance when it goes into effect July 1. Not exactly the most desirable of circumstances for Gloria Anaya and some other Payson business owners.

Butch Klein:
It's a terrible position to be put in. But businesses are also the ones that brought this problem on. And when you want to try and spike it a little bit and go for cheaper wages and you say, okay, I don't care about where these ten guys came from, you're part of the problem. You brought it on. So now you saddle that bronco and let's see if you can ride it.

Larry Lemmons:
Joining me to talk about what they're doing to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants are Representative Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix and Mesa Representative Russell Pearce, the sponsor of house bill 2779 that deals with employer sanctions. It's pretty remarkable, isn't it, that the state got impatient waiting for the federal government to take charge and now the municipalities are getting impatient waiting for the state to take charge. Is this a good thing? Thinking about Hazelton, Pennsylvania and what occurred up there, the lawsuits? Representative Sinema, should more cities be doing this?

Kyrsten Sinema:
I think there are some very legitimate concerns that are being raised by having local governments enact these kinds of ordinances. It's difficult for even the federal government, much less the state to enact these kinds of laws. Although I think we can all agree that we do want to hold employers accountable, especially those employers who are knowingly and willfully violating the law and exploiting workers and cheating other business owners by hiring cheaper labor and cheating the system. I think some of the issues that we'll face are the ones that we've seen in Hazelton and other cities around the country. In that when a local government does this they may not have the tools or the resources to be able to provide those civil liberties, protection to protect them from a lawsuit or maybe haven't put enough steps in place ahead of time to adequately protect those rights while still protecting the government. By doing what it wants to legitimately. I think we can all agree should be doing by ensuring that employers are hiring lawful and legal workers.

Larry Lemmons:
Representative Pearce, it is a relatively recent phenomenon that they're actually going after employers. For a long time they were going after the supply rather than the demand. But now obviously there is a lot of pressure to do just that.

Russell Perce:
Actually, I ran this bill six years in a row on employer sanctions. It's not new.

Larry Lemmons:
It hasn't gone through.

Russell Pearce:
Last year it did and the governor vetoed it. It didn't before that and you're right. Last year we did get a bill together and she vetoed it. People don't understand. They fail to understand the relationship of the federal government with the states. The states have inherent authority to enforce federal law, fact have inherent responsibility and to continue to ignore that fact -- Payson is not unique. Lake Havasu is doing the same thing. Gilbert is talking about the same thing.

Larry Lemmons:
What Lake Havasu is doing is employer sanctions ordinance applies only to employers that contract with the city. Is that correct?

Russell Pearce:
Well they have not passed yet. There's a little bit more limiting. But 84 cities across the country are now doing this same kind of stuff. Yeah. Are they going to be subject the lawsuits? Yeah. Because the far left, these groups continue to sue every chance they get because they absolutely --

Larry Lemmons:
ACLU --

Russell Pearce:
Yeah. The ACLU joins right with them. Some of the greatest anti-American groups known. And they continue to attack America and the law. They're anarchists. They simply continue to fight reasonable laws to protect -- we're not creating new law. We're enforcing existing law. It's been a law since 1986 when they gave amnesty and then said now we're going to get tough on employers. Secure the border. And yet we continue to ignore the damage to this country that comes with this invasion. And that's that Arizona is number one in crime, the second most violent state in the nation. We're the home invasion, carjacking, identity theft capital of the world. It's got to stop.

Larry Lemmons:
But all of those are not necessarily connected specifically with illegal immigration.

Russell Pearce:
Significant number are. And the data is there. In fact, heritage report, there's a new report out of numbers USA.

Kyrsten Sinema:
That's just not accurate.

Russell Pearce:
That is very accurate.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Numbers USA is a well-known rabid anti-immigrant organization that does not put out valid numbers. And we've seen this happen time and time again. And you know, there was evenly an article in the "Arizona Republic" last year commenting about the use of statistics that were misleading and sometimes inaccurate.

Larry Lemmons:
Before we go on, I would like to get to your bill, though, the fair and legal employment bill. Because let's talk about that.

Russell Pearce:
Well, first of all it is a fair and legal employment bill. Simply enforces existing law and it protects the honest employer against that employer who cheats, competes illegally unfairly and immorally and has a competitive advantage. Illegal competitive advantage. What it does is very simply say that you must sign, similar to in Payson in fact, they took the idea from what we are doing, that you must sign an affidavit to be an honest employer. I know that's tough on folks.

Larry Lemmons:
They need to knowingly say that they have not hired any illegal immigrants.

Russell Pearce:
Yeah they do, but they sign an affidavit saying they will not knowing hire someone that is in this country illegally. The problem is they have a system, a basic pilot verification program. If they would use that that would prove their case.

Larry Lemmons:
Before you go on, I wanted to say because we talked about this before, you actually do agree with the basic pilot program. This is something that you absolutely have agreement.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Absolutely. I don't have a problem with asking employers to sign an affidavit, either. As long as there is some understanding that an employer is signing an affidavit saying I'm not knowingly hiring someone whose undocumented. If they use the basic pilot program which I actually support and was a co-sponsor of Legislation. That we introduced…

Larry Lemmons:
What happened to that Legislation?

Kyrsten Sinema:
He killed it. But our legislation used the basic pilot program. Although there are some critics about the program it's the most effective program that we have in our country today to verify the accuracy of someone's documents. So we agree on that. The problem with the Legislation, there's some real problems in terms of drafting. There's no funding to the attorney general's office. It puts the burden on enforcement on local law enforcement without providing any additional resources. And I could go on and on.

Russell Pearce:
Let's back up a second. The amendment that she talked about that I killed had much more it than that. I support the basic pilot I voted to get it in. It's in the initiative that I'm pushing that will go to the citizens if this governor vetoes this bill like she has thirteen others. Truly I absolutely believe it's time. This is a local issue, not just a federal issue. We must get serious about -- and again, I use the term all the time, but Disneyland. Who's in the business of crowds learned a long time ago. You shut down the rides, the crowd goes home. You have to go after employers, to enforce the law and stop the silly nonsense that it's somebody else's responsibility.

Larry Lemmons:
Why isn't this bill going to work?

Kyrsten Sinema:
Well, the bill has some inherent problems with drafting. But what I would like to focus on is the initiative which was just referenced a moment ago. It's being used as a hammer over the Senate who has not yet addressed this Legislation. It's gone through some portions of the Senate but it hasn't yet gone to a full vote.

Larry Lemmons:
Would you mind explaining basically the situation? Because obviously Representative Pearce says we've got the initiative going with this coalition. He's working with Don Goldwater. If this doesn't pass, if the governor vetoes it, well then he's going ahead with the initiative. But I know the chambers are very worried about that. Because quite frankly, isn't that initiative going to be much more severe than the Legislation?

Kyrsten Sinema:
The initiative is incredibly severe. It's a death penalty for businesses. It's a one strike you're out. So Payson talked about three strikes you're out. I think we can all agree - in fact the bill we offered was three strikes you're out as well this initiative is a one strike you're out. So an individual who perhaps made a mistake and didn't know that they hired an undocumented person would lose their business license forever.

Larry Lemmons:
Do you agree with that?

Russell Pearce:
No I don't agree. Because it says knowingly. In fact, in the bill is a rebuttable presumption, if you use the basic pilot which does a social security number and does the legal alien database ran by Homeland Security. And by the way, you can go to every employer on it tomorrow and it would not hurt that system. They're prepared for that. But that system validates whether you have a legal employer. So if they really want to know to use that program. But in the initiative it is tough. We've had 20 years since 1986 to follow the law. We think it's about time. The standard is knowingly, though. We made it very clear. Plus it you're going to use the base pilot which is the real system to prove you're following the law, then we give you a rebuttable presumption that you're doing the right thing.

Larry Lemmons:
Is that to avoid what happened with the Swift Company when they tried to use that?

Russell Pearce:
They were fudging. That was an internal investigation where they were winking and nodding and cheating.

Kyrsten Sinema:
We don't know that yet.

Russell Pearce:
We do know that. Yes, we do know that. We have evidence, testimony for that.

Larry Lemmons:
But this is a way to avoid that same kind of thing. If the employer says I am using the basic pilot program.

Russell Pearce:
Rather than mandate them we are just saying if you use that program that prepared, designed for that purpose, that's what it's for is for employers and making sure that employee you hire is legitimate, we'll give you a rebuttable presumption and assume you're innocent.

Kyrsten Sinema:
We agree the basic pilot program is the best program out there. No one is going to deny that. And I think it is the best federally available program there is. But what it does is it checks to see if someone has a mismatch between their name and other identifying information and the social security and their work documents. What it doesn't catch are those individuals who assume other identities completely and wholly and use someone else's real social security information and assumes that person's name.

Larry Lemmons:
We only have about thirty seconds left.

Russell Pearce:
That's not quite accurate. Because you're always going to have fraudulent activity. I don't care what system you build. You're going to have people that are clever enough to get around it. That's not quite true because it matches a social security number. If there's a non-match it lets you know. If you're not a citizen you must be in the illegal alien database, you must have a visa to work here. It matches that database.

Larry Lemmons:
What are you going to do if the governor vetoes it?

Russell Pearce:
That is a good point. And that's the reason you have the initiative. It is not meant to be a hammer so much as the fact that this governor vetoed 13 bills. It's a high hurdle. There's a high hurdle.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Except for yesterday in the paper when asked if he would withdraw the initiative if the governor indeed signed the bill, both him and Mr. Goldwater -- well, Mr. Goldwater said he was going to move forward anyway. Mr. Pearce on two occasions said to the "Arizona Republic" that he will not promise to take away the initiative. So we don't know what's going to happen.

Russell Pearce:
It's not just Russell Pearce now. It is a coalition of great Americans.

Larry Lemmons:
Thank you very much, both of you, for speaking with us tonight.

Kyrsten Sinema:
Thank you.

Larry Lemmons:
There's a new control tower at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. It was dedicated today in a ceremony attended by many dignitaries. Soon there'll be other big changes at the airport which served over 41 million people last year. I'll talk to an airport spokeswoman about those changes. But first, Mike Sauceda tells us more about the new tower.

Mike Sauceda:
A down to earth ribbon cutting ceremony for the new control tower at Sky Harbor Airport this morning. The new tower's 326 feet high and is among the tallest in the world.

Ed Moy:
I must admit, I have mixed feelings standing before you. You see, I was one of the young engineers who built the new tower, the one that we're going to tear down. And I can still remember standing on the rim of that tower before we placed the cab on that. And that was back in 1977. And I mean, who would have thought we would outgrow that tower? It was so tall; I swear you could see Tucson from that cab. And that speaks of the remarkable growth of aviation here.

Mike Sauceda:
The new tower gives air traffic controllers sweeping views of the entire airport, unlike the obstructed view of the old tower. It also gives them the latest in technology.

Ed Moy:
The technology here is state-of-the-art. And we have Terry Bristol to thank for that. The Stars equipment, knock on wood, has really been humming and has not made any noise or news for us. So we must not forget that this tower is a symbol. A symbol of the dedication of the people who built, install, and maintain this facility and the many other facilities around the airport. It's a symbol of the lasting commitment of the F.A.A. to the city of Phoenix and the many users of the aviation system.

Larry Lemmons:
Here now to tell us more about changes at the airport is Sky Harbor spokeswoman Julie Rodriguez. Thanks so much for coming down. That's like twice as tall as the tower that was there before?

Julie Rodriguez:
Yes, it is. It's very impressive. You can see it from all over the valley.

Larry Lemmons:
There, that's only just one thing, right, that's going on down at airport.

Julie Rodriguez:
That's right.

Larry Lemmons:
Tell us about some of the changes that are in the workings.

Julie Rodriguez:
As you know we're seeing record numbers of passengers. We've seen changes around the airport recently. We've renovated terminal 4. You've been in there recently.

Larry Lemmons:
That's my terminal.

Julie Rodriguez:
It accommodates most of our passengers. We have all new shops and restaurants in terminal 4. We're also doing some renovating to our oldest terminal, terminal 2. We've added lots of customer service amenities in the last couple years such as free WiFi, a second cell phone waiting lot, the stage and go lot. We're always looking at ways to improve customer service.

Larry Lemmons:
Tell us about… the thing that really excites me is this idea of an automated train that's going to be built. What about that? It's going to be hooked up to the light rail?

Julie Rodriguez:
That's right. We are planning on the automated train, we're working on the planning right now. The first leg of that train will connect from the light rail station at 44th street and Washington. It will run past the east economy lots and garages and then end up at terminal 4. And then the second leg, which will be built in the future, probably starting in 2016 and finished in 2020, will run through the rest of the airport all the way to the rental car center. But we're looking at that first leg from 44th street and Washington, the light rail station, all the way to terminal 4 to be finished probably around 2013.

Larry Lemmons:
When you say automated train, does that mean that there isn't a driver?

Julie Rodriguez:
It's a driverless train.

Larry Lemmons:
How is it powered?

Julie Rodriguez:
Not sure. It's tire-driven as far as I know. We're looking at designs right now. Haven't procured a contractor yet. So we don't even have a rendering of what it will look like. But it will be a driverless train. It will pick up passengers at the light rail station. And that will mean that if you're dropping off someone at the airport, you can drop them off at 44th Street and Washington and then you won't have to drive through the airport and navigate all that traffic. We're also hoping to have remote baggage check in at that location. So you stop at the location whether you take the light rail to that location or whether your friend or relative drops you off. Hopefully you can check your luggage at that location and then take the train into the airport.

Larry Lemmons:
How long do you think it will take to get then from 44th and Washington to the airport? You said there were about six stops along those terminals?

Julie Rodriguez:
Only one or two stops between that light rail station in terminal 4. So just a few minutes.

Larry Lemmons:
Well, we were talking about security and what with 9/11 and all the added security on there. How will that really help passengers in terms of time?

Julie Rodriguez:
Well, you won't have to check bags in the terminal. We're looking at being able to check bags at the remote baggage check in at the light rail station. As far as security, you'll still have to go through security, of course, when you get to the terminal. But it should save you some time of waiting in line at the ticket counter.

Larry Lemmons:
Again the idea is to get the -- go in the line, get your boarding pass beforehand. If you wanted to drive in, if you wanted to avoid all that traffic and I might add avoid all of those parking fees at the airport, too, that might definitely be the way to go.

Julie Rodriguez:
That's right. And if you've been to the airport recently you know that we have a lot of over 41 million people who come to Sky Harbor every year now. We're looking at over 50 million by 2015. So you can imagine the increase in roadway traffic if we don't have something like an automated train system. So you'll have the choice. You'll be able to use the automated train. You'll be able to have a friend or relative drop you off at the curb. You'll be able to park at the airport. All those options will still be available.

Larry Lemmons:
Julie Rodriguez thank you so much for coming down and telling us about the new airport changes. And thank you very much for joining us this Wednesday evening. I'm Larry Lemmons. Good night.

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