Andrew Thomas on New Immigration Laws

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas

Today, Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas, held a press conference announcing his appreciation for two new laws empowering county attorneys to enforce illegal immigration efforts throughout Arizona.

Thomas, who called the passage of the legislation a, “Victory for the People,” will now have a mechanism to enforce the mandates passed by voters in Proposition 100.

“These new laws are also the latest evidence that this is still a democracy. The people have the final say on how our government operates,” Thomas said. “Their voice was heard loud and clear.”

House Bill 2779, signed yesterday by the Governor, empowers county attorneys with a mechanism to penalize employers who knowingly and intentionally hire illegal immigrants. Businesses now run the risk of having their business licenses revoked for violating existing illegal immigration employment law.

Senate Bill 1265, also signed yesterday, asserts probable cause as the standard of proof when deciding whether or not an illegal immigrant can be denied bail when accused with a serious felony. Prior to this morning, superior courts utilized a standard called the “Simpson hearings.” (Under the Simpson hearings, two questions were asked regarding the defendant: Did the defendant commit a felony that qualifies under Proposition 100 and, Is it better than just “probable” that the defendant is in the country illegally? The diffidulty with the Simpson standard has been caused by the fact that a defendant must face the hearing within 24 hours after initial appearance – a coordinating nightmare for judges, public defenders, prosecutors, court interpretors and law enforcement officers. This in addition to finding courtroom space.)

However this morning, the Arizona Supreme Court eliminated the Simpson hearings standard thorough court decree replacing it with the probable cause standard.

Both laws will go into effect January 1st but may face a constitutional challenge by immigration activists. Yesterday, Hispanic legislators decried the Governor’s signing of both bills. Maricopa County Supervisor, Mary Rose Wilcox, responded to the Governors actions by vowing that, “We have five months for the business community to rally and come to the table and demand that the House and Senate come back to the table and work on this bill.” “People are just incensed about this. This will be disastrous for the state of Arizona,” she said.

Thomas also announced that his office will be forming an internal committee to prepare for implementing policies and enforcement of both laws.

Anticipating criticism from the business community and immigration advocates, Thomas was adamant about opening a dialog and discussion with leaders.

Thomas also stated that his office will partner with other law enforcement agencies to ensure that the county can balance any new caseload. When asked if the $1.5 million was sufficient to carry out the anticipated workload, Thomas responded that he did not have enough information at this time to determine that. But he did note that he would pursue additional funding, if necessary, through the legislature or the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

Critics have assailed that the new employer sanction law will lead to an increase of bogus and frivolous complaints but Thomas addressed this by asserting that his office will implement policies to destinguish bogus from bona fide complaints. Thomas was most adamant in stating that his office will prosecute every defendant “fairly and equitably” under the new laws.

In the meantime, Maricopa County’s top attorney will take several months to prepare his office before both laws go into effect.


Comments

  1. I will simply be amazed if those charged with implimenting these new laws actually have the political spine to actually enforce them. One thing clearly pointed out in this issue is it clearly defines who the “screw American sovereignty” groups are. Once they come out to openly oppose this legislation, they will in essemce, be taking a position against the wishes of most Arizonans. Perhaps it’s time to really clean house.

  2. barrygoldwaterrepub says

    Does anyone besides me think “THE” Rule of Law should have a close relationship with the concept of a punishment fitting the crime? There is no such relationship within our Immigration Law. The punishment for a civil technical infraction of Immigration code is more severe in terms of separation from family than many pre-meditated crimes including murderer, rape or violent assault.

    Q. What is the penalty for Business owners who entice workers to violate federal immigration law, and violate labor laws, and reporting regulations themselves?

    A. Possible fine and a stern talking to.

    Q. What is the penalty for an undocumented foreign worker without proper authorization?

    A. Apprehension & indefinite detainment (in a remotely located secret detention facility owned by a Haliburton Subsidiary)
    Deportation and a 10 year or permanent exile from the United States. Possible death (detainees die as a result of denial of medication necessary to sustain life)

    Q. What hardships are suffered by US Citizen spouses of Business owners who entice workers to violate federal immigration law and employ undocumented workers?

    A. These families face no hardship; their bread winner is usually home by 5 on the day of the Plant Raid.

    Q. What Hardship is suffered by US Citizens who have a family member picked up in an ICE Raid?

    A. After the initial shock and grief of the abduction like experience they have gone through, many lose their homes because the sole income earner is incarcerated. US citizen family members often end up on public assistance. These workers US citizen children and spouses suffer separations as long as 10 or 20 years from loved ones.

    Lou Dobbs is telling us these “evil illegal aliens who are invading our country” and “destroying” our nation. Farmers are watching crops rot in the field because they cannot get legal workers here to do the job. Big business interests call the inconveniences of Immigration Officials at the workplace “cost of doing business.”

    The Dirty Little Secret is the war on “Illegals” is costing taxpayers a fortune and is no different than the drug war. Billions have been spent but no real progress has been made. In the War against undocumented workers we have created a “real problem”. The government insiders have created an Industry out of the fear Lou Dobbs fans each night, “Prisons for Profit”, another government program used to financially fleece the American Public.

    Department of Homeland Security holds all the cards in this game. They are just getting warmed up as our fear level intensifies. They come to the hill now to request more money to “fight the illegal aliens” more Agents on the Payroll, more Detention Centers, which means more Federal Dollars spent on incarcerating people who were previously self sufficient and no threat to society. There is no fiscal conservancy in the concept of spending $85 a day to support Jose and his dozen cousins when they are perfectly capable of supporting themselves. We also pay for our Jose’s US Citizen spouse and kids, who as a result of our “enforcement only” mentality are now on the Public Dole as well. This “cracking down” thing seems to be a pretty expensive way of “proving a point”.

    Even mature seasoned legislators who claim to be fiscally conservative get caught up in the “drama” Dobbs and his ilk create. Consider Congresswoman Sue Myrick’s recent protest of Bank of America. She felt outrage that BOA would extend credit to individuals in the United States who had no social security numbers. Congresswoman Myrick took her money out of Bank of America and opened up an account with Wachovia which was a large employer in her district. Wachovia is outsourcing over 5000 jobs to foreign countries such as India over the next 3 years. What point did she make with her protest?

    If you think that WAR ON ILLEGALS is “helpful” to the taxpayer, wake up and smell the espresso Amigo. The only one benefiting on this scheme is Haliburton. Hopefully ICE will not succeed in its “mission” in your hometown. Its lunacy to be thinking Americans will “get their jobs back”, we are past that. The reality is that we are in a Global Economy and your local Factory or Plant will grow tired of the non-sense of Government interference and be relocated to a “Free Market Economy” like Mexico or maybe China, where cost of doing business is cheaper and far less hassle. The decimation a plant closing causes in a community should be avoided not welcomed. Along with the plant loss you can say goodbye to you local small business profits and landlords will be stuck holding the bag.

    I urge you to consider Immigration Reform and the “big picture”. It is a complex and delicate balance for many communities. Keep in mind Lou Dobbs and your local radio talk show hosts are entertainers not economists.

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