Recently, Governor Janet Napolitano signed the Fair and Legal Employment Act, which mandates effective 1/1/08, that all Arizona employers run new hires through the Basic Pilot Program, electronic employment verification system, cross checking names with social security numbers. Employer groups, such as the Arizona Contractors Association, are challenging the statute, stating that it is unconstitutional and that Immigration is a federal issue, not to differ from state to state and one that all employers can comply with.
It is anticipated that the construction trades and hospitality industries will be hardest hit. Could this law be another Trojan Horse? Should this law take effect, its implications are far reaching. Protesters of Immigration Reform efforts have long argued that the positions held by illegal immigrants are positions that others do not care to peruse. So, who can we turn to for labor? Many believe that these jobs may be filled by recent high school graduates, who may not choose further education or a professional path, but recent studies reveal that even our 18 year old children will not work for minimum wage.