Thursday, September 13, 2007

Split huge fines with whistleblowers - end of problem

Some fear Arizona law will send migrants packing
Associated Press with Albuquerque Tribune

PHOENIX — A tough new employer sanctions law in Arizona has many undocumented immigrants contemplating something they once thought was unthinkable - returning to their home countries, activists say.

The law goes into effect in January and requires employers to verify the eligibility of workers through a federal database. They would face having their business licenses revoked after a second offense.

Since it was signed into law in July, undocumented immigrants have been wondering how they will be affected. They're asking Mexican Consulates to explain the law, calling Spanish-language radio stations for advice and keeping an eye on community newspapers.

Those who are considering going home say they're waiting until January to see whether their bosses will start asking them for papers.

"If I lose my job, we'll go back to Mexico," said 30-year-old Elias Velasquez, an undocumented immigrant who came to Arizona from Puebla with his family a year ago.

Velasquez, who works at a Phoenix grocery store, said he hasn't yet been asked to prove that he's in the country legally.