So here's a question for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his enabler, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery: After 73 immigration raids on local businesses, why no perp-walks for employers?

Granted, Montgomery hasn't been around for all 73 raids. Nevertheless, he has no problem prosecuting undocumented workers for forgery and ID theft, holding them non-bondable under the provisions of Prop 100 after overcharging them for their supposed crimes.

So why not their bosses?

Arpaio revving up the Joe Show at an Uncle Sam's restaurant on Union Hills.
Chuy
Arpaio revving up the Joe Show at an Uncle Sam's restaurant on Union Hills.

The Legal Arizona Workers Act, signed in 2007 by then-Governor Janet Napolitano (soon to be president of the University of California system after resigning her post as head of Homeland Security), offers civil penalties for an employer who intentionally hires an undocumented worker.

But there's also a possible criminal penalty under state law. Ironically, it can be found in the same statute that Montgomery's minions often use to prosecute undocumented workers.

See, Arizona Revised Statute 13-2008 makes it a class-four felony to "knowingly" take someone else's identity for any unlawful purpose.

But it also makes it a class-four felony to knowingly accept such information when hiring an employee.

Since Arpaio began doing worksite raids, the MCSO has perp-walked 729 undocumented arrestees.

And the sheriff's made sure, as he did with this most recent raid on two locations of the family chain Uncle Sam's, that TV cameras were present and allowed to film, as, um, dangerous cooks, dishwashers, and busboys were marched out in cuffs.

At the Uncle Sam's location on Union Hills Road, one undocumented worker, hiding his face with his shirt, told news cameras in broken English that he was "only working" and had "seven children."

Indeed, according to attorneys who've met with the men, they are in a state of panic because they are the sole breadwinners of their families.

I don't anticipate that such information will cause much angst among Anglo Arizonans. But what if the pillars of their communities, owners of local businesses — the engines that keep the economy rolling and provide needed goods and services — were to end up in Arpaio's perp-walks?

The County Attorney cannot say he doesn't have the resources to go after employers. Since 2008, the Arizona Legislature has allocated more than $5 million to the MCAO alone to enforce the Legal Arizona Workers Act.

And in that time, the County Attorney's Office has targeted only three businesses for civil penalties.

Apparently, all that dough — some of which the MCAO reportedly shares with the Sheriff's Office — is getting used to round up brown people.

The raids, like the MCSO sweeps, have been part of Arpaio's campaign to enforce federal immigration law.

That campaign took a direct hit in May, when federal Judge G. Murray Snow issued a 142-page ruling in Melendres v. Arpaio, finding the MCSO guilty of racial profiling during the sweeps.

Snow enjoined Arpaio from enforcing federal criminal-immigration law and from arresting anyone based on the state's civil employer-sanctions statute.

But the judge didn't preclude the MCSO from enforcing state laws.

Nevertheless, at a hearing before Judge Snow in June, Arpaio's lawyer, Tim Casey, declared to the court: "The MCSO is out of the immigration-enforcement business."

After the hearing, MCSO Chief Deputy Jerry Sheridan sang a different tune, telling me and other reporters that he believed the worksite raids could continue.

That's because the MCSO is using the guise of state forgery and ID-theft laws.

But going after brown laborers, while ignoring the often white owners they work for, is patently discriminatory.

The U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights lawsuit against Arpaio, in part, takes aim at the MCSO's "unconstitutional and unlawful targeting of Latino workers and illegal detention of Latinos because of their race, color, or national origin, during worksite raids."

More than once during the trials of undocumented workers, sheriff's detectives said they don't pursue leads against or otherwise investigate employers.

During one such trial that I reported on in February, Detective Wade Voeltz of the MCSO's Criminal Employment Squad stated that the CES "looked at employees, primarily" because it found that going after employers was just too dang hard.

"Yeah, it seems like the employers, their skins aren't brown enough, so they just let them go," cracked attorney Ray Ybarra when I asked about the policy of Arpaio's office.

Ybarra has represented some of the undocumented workers caught up in the raids, one of whom he talked a jury into finding not guilty after raising the issue of the tipster who instigated the investigation against his client's employer.

The anonymous tipster claimed people at the business were recruiting undocumented workers. But when Ybarra asked MCSO detectives on the stand whether they had looked into the employer's hiring practices, they said no.

Similarly, in the investigation of Tempe manufacturer Sportex Apparel, calls from anonymous tipsters mentioned the names of two people at the company who allegedly recruited undocumented friends and family members.

In February, the MCSO raided Sportex, arresting 23 workers. While seeking an indictment, the County Attorney's Office portrayed the company as the employees' victim, and averred that Sportex had followed the law in hiring its workers.

Attorney Delia Salvatierra represents former Sportex worker Estela Morales-Ramos, arrested in the February raid.

In an April motion to send Ramos' case back to the grand jury, Salvatierra stated that of the 23 defendants charged, 18 had no-match letters either from the Social Security Administration or from the Arizona Department of Economic Security "that Sportex never sought to resolve."

Such letters note discrepancies in Social Security numbers given by employees to employers for withholding.

Salvatierra attached her client's no-match letter, part of the MCSO's investigative file, to the plea.

The attorney also accused the company of responding to some no-match letters by stating that the worker in question had quit.

But, then, "Sportex rehired the same person by accepting the same information."

Sportex co-owner Larry Deutsch declined immediate comment when asked about these allegations.

Morales-Ramos since has pleaded guilty to a much-lesser felony, with sentencing held off 'til October.

Is there still an investigation open on Sportex? Possibly. A public-records request from me to the MCSO for its investigative file on Sportex recently was declined because obeying Arizona's public-records law was "not in the interests of the state."

There is other movement afoot in these cases. Though U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement once gave the MCAO a blueprint on how to charge undocumented workers to ensure their deportations, ICE recently administratively has closed such cases, releasing the undocumented persons turned over to ICE by Montgomery after forgery/ID-theft convictions.

The speculation is that such cases are viewed as "fruit of the poison tree." In other words, coming from a jurisdiction, such as Arpaio and Monty's, tainted by civil rights violations.

Arpaio's raid on Uncle Sam's was obvious retaliation for the administrative closing of a case involving the parents of 13-year-old Katherine Figueroa, who were arrested in Arpaio's 2009 raid of a local car wash.

The Figueroas' win received attention both from the Arizona Republic and the New York Times. On the same day their articles were published, Arpaio launched the Uncle Sam's raid.

Ten employees were arrested. Montgomery's office since has chosen to prosecute just four, stating that the "initial review" of the evidence didn't support charges against the rest "at this time."

At best, it's a half-measure.

The mere fact that employers and employees aren't equal under the law in Maricopa County proves that these prosecutions of undocumented workers are the product of prejudiced law enforcement.

Which is why the raids, like the sweeps before them, must end.

Show Pages
 
My Voice Nation Help
133 comments
teknik
teknik

When someone stole my SS# and started working at Sauce which was next to the PF Changs I worked at for a year. They started working right around Jan 01 2008 and worked until the end of december in 2009 convieniently only working 2 years on my SS.  By the time I found out they were probably working in the same place with a different SS.


The police did not help me at all, the went to the place and called my back and said "well they worked here for 2 years in 08 and 09 and they are gone now so there's nothing we can do.


When I repeatedly asked what information of mine was actually used by the employer they wouldn't tell me.


As far as I know then didn't have anything other than my SS so how did they get a job without ID?


Wouldn't that seem to imply the employer or at least management knew?   I often wondered if all they had was a xerox of what I used at chang's It would have been easy to find out.  At that time I would still have had an out of state ID which I still possess.


Joey
Joey

Lemons, maybe Sheriff Joe will arrest an illegal for ID theft and they will have your social security number.  Wouldn't that be a hoot.

SilverBull
SilverBull

   It does seem ludicrous to punish only the workers, while the employers who are obviously in on the scam (121 illegals in 9 months = knowledge) go unpunished. Its the equivalent of trying to solve the drug problem by punishing users, while allowing dealers to run rampant. String up a few employers, and the practice of hiring illegals will go away .... Of course, this assumes the MCSO goals are to solve the problem. By not punishing employers, it appears MCSO goals are more like thumbing their noses at a federal judge

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

One of the illegals capture said he was only working and has 7 children another worker captured said he had 5 children wow that's 12 between two  Uncle Sam's kitchen worker's. Anyone want to take a stab on how much the mandated subsidies for the raising of their kids is costing us ?

Bubba8989
Bubba8989

February 20, 2013  by Rachelle Younglai

(Reuters) - More than half of U.S. citizens believe that most or all of the country's 11 million illegal immigrants should be deported, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll ...

serpico1000
serpico1000

I guess the State of Arizona will never give up their anti-immigrant laws no matter what, since being restrained by the law to not do any more raids the new title changed everything under the law? which is to say, don't  bother me i'm too busy catching (criminals) this is the power of the powerful in this Country that say DO THIS, and the lap dogs are complyin g and the civil rights and human rights, which the UNITED NATIONS should be monitoring Are not!! this is a world event where the U.S. should be aware that the people, in their limited education will forever endure, but sooner or later, this giant will awaken and the results will not be nice, or easy to swallow.but the process of any of these events from the MCSO will continue and we are back to square one,the Federal government should have more oversight on these happenings in Arizona, and the justice department, which is the keeper of the human rights of ANY individual should be more alert to what's going on.

Francisco Cortez
Francisco Cortez

Arpaio exposes the true hypocrisy of AZ Republicans. Uncle Sam's claims to be an "All American Restaurant", and from the messages on their menu, it's obvious they are Anti-Obama too.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

E-Verify is the catalyst allowing employers safe passage to continue exploiting illegals. If an employer uses E-Verify, they are free from any criminal or civil penalties should any of their workforce be illegally using false ID.

None of this matters, however, since the Lemon's lemmings would prefer those who are stealing the identities of others to be allowed to do so without consequence. After all, "they are the most honest Americans [they] know."

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

Well at least we know the 73 companies that where raided wont be hiring illegal immigrants any time soon and that's good.If im not mistaken the companies that have been raided are under some form of probation for a first offence that might be why the employer's are not being arrested I think its a 2 strike law in Arizona

hapstone2
hapstone2

Here something to consider - there were NO illegal immigrant raids in Mexico this week ...

As the emigres come northward they pass through large metropolitan areas with large modern factories and support industries. Agriculture to is expanding in the north. Mexico also boasts increasing infra-structure projects as well. They are vigorously expanding their petroleum industry. They trumpet an 4% unemployment rate. They point to an expanding middle class. These are the "conditions" to which Obama took great pains to speak to.  

What the hell is to escape from

Imagine for a moment if there was a mass deportation ... the vision of poor wandering displaced persons probably comes to mind wandering aimlessly heads down backs bent... Were you to ask you would find that for a huge per percentage - it would be a joyous family reunion. Now that is just too horrible to imagine.


ggllww
ggllww

@truthseekeraz "Vulnerable Families"???

I do not disagree that more "employers", should be charged, however don't call these people "VULNERANLE FAMILIES"! Especially when it is "themselves" that put them in such a position.

Entering the U.S. illegally sets them up from the start. Having to hide in the shadows and RUN, every time they see a officer of the Law. Afraid to even call police, if needed, must be a terrible position, TO PUT YOURSELF IN!!!

There are ways to come to this country LEGALLY, I would think they'd of learned that by now...

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@truthseekeraz  

You know thats never going to happen, not here in Arizona.

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

@john043012 ZERO.  These people pay taxes from their wages and sales taxes and taxes through their rents just like you and I - taxes from which the education of their children is handed - and that's the ONLY mandated activity the school districts in the State of Arizona pays for - because it's in the Constitution of the State of Arizona - this means that you want to dismantle the Constitution - sorry, you're too late, the republicants have already done that.

ggllww
ggllww

@serpico1000 Blaa, Blaa...same ole CRAP, from the same ole people.

As far as myself AND Sheriff Joe, these people are CRIMINLAS, Illegally in our country and will be dealt with, accordingly!!!

Don't give me the "Crap" about civil rights! These people are Criminals, in the US Illegally and Joe is treating them, accordingly, also! These people have little regard for our laws (first off by being here "Illegally"), they drive their vehicles without insurance to not only NOT cover themselves, but the poor SMUCKS they run in to.

They take advantage of every opportunity to get something for FREE they can. Such as Food Banks...This food was intended for the CITIZENS of our state. Ever wonder why there is such short supply...11million illegals is a GOOD START!

Ever notice when the Fire Dept., or such organizations have these "Back to school" drives, WHO IS IN LINE? 11 million Illegals, taking away from the CITIZENS of our state, it was intended for.

They DO NOT belong here, they are Criminals, teaching an entire new Generation of their ILK, how to take advantage of the good nature of people in the US.

You say the "GIANT" is going to awaken....WELL, YOU'VE AWAKENED THE OTHER GIANT AND THEY ARE COMING AFTER YOU FROM ALL DIRECTIONS.

WE'RE SICK TO DEATH OF IT AND WILL FIGHT BACK WITH THE LAW!

dkessler4
dkessler4

@Francisco Cortez They could have avoided all this by paying bribes to one of Arpaio's charities like Danny's did for many years.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@yourproductsucks what about 10-99 employees? do they have to supply soc #'s? (I really dont know, I am asking a serious question here). since they are a subcontractor, how would that legally affect the company that uses them?

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@yourproductsucks

thats assuming everify is always used. it is not. 

it can be used w/employer knowing that the social security number used belongs to someone else. that's the claim of what sportex did. 

132008b is for that specific charge

language in employer sanction law gives employer a defense,not immunity from all prosecution. even then defense is under lawa.

132008 does not have that language ur talking bout in lawa.

language in lawa does not apply to 132008. also doesnt apply to forgery if employer fills out forms either.

pszymeczek
pszymeczek

@john043012 I wouldn't be too certain of that.  Unless the employers face some penalties that have teeth to them, they are not going to change their hiring practices.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@john043012  i dont know if they really are on any kind of probationary status or not, i assumed they would have to appear before a judge or the attorneys office for that to be the case. none of these employers have been before Montgomery. i cant honestly say that them being raided WILL prevent them from hiring more illegals, since they arent in any legal trouble, they might hire more again since its cheaper labor (maybe the more honest ones will not hire illegals again, but there are some who will since they arent fined or sanctioned. prime example would be the guy who hired 100 in a years time)

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@john043012 reread column. theyre not going after owners on criminal law or emplyr sanctions (civil). most owners lose is a day closed. they start rehiring immediately. ur confuzing civil and criminal law. apaio is not going after employers on criml or cvl.

hapstone2
hapstone2

@truthseekeraz You complain? Mexico has methodically displaced these vulnerable families   any clue as why that might be .... 

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@truthseekeraz I agree employers and the illegals should be held accountable for their actions however some people feel the illegal should be let go not arrested I think they should be deported  along with their family member's no jail time just get them the fuck out of here.

ggllww
ggllww

@truthseekeraz Then STAY HOME!!!

Sheriff Joe is the best thing that has ever happened to Maricopa county. Why do you think he is the most re-elected sheriff around....DUH!!!

We haven't "Sold our Soul", we've simply decided to take our country BACK from these so called "Brownies".

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@ExpertShot  ever hear of the child tax credit ?ever hear of the school breakfast and lunch programs and don't try to tell me a kitchen worker who probably makes 10.00 an hour can afford to raise 7 kids, put a roof over their heads and pay for their medical expenses.This is being paid for by the taxpayers The parents do not belong here  and its my guess if they were in Mexico they would not have had 7 children

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@truthseekeraz  At least they are full time jobs most places of employment are only offering part time poistion's

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@danzigsdaddy @yourproductsucks

on the civil side, "An employer shall not intentionally employ an unauthorized alien. If, in the case when an employer uses a contract, subcontract or other independent contractor agreement to obtain the labor of an alien in this state, the employer intentionally contracts with an unauthorized alien or with a person who employs or contracts with an unauthorized alien to perform the labor, the employer violates this subsection."

on criminal side, laws against forgery and accepting false docs still apply. no "affirmative defense" on the criminal side.

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@danzigsdaddy only three companies have been pursued under employer sanctions. NONE of the others are on any sort of probationary status. none.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@hapstone2 I think its because in Mexican society our illegal immigrants are useless pieces of shit they have no use for them

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

John, IRCA and the Arizona Legal Workers Act requires employers to utilize the E-Verify system to insure the people they hire aren't illegal.

The undocumented immigrants either use a false SSN or use someone's SSN.

I think government should do more to combat illegal immigration while helping those who are already here. Personally the state department of revenue and the IRS should do more to help.

dkessler4
dkessler4

@ggllww @truthseekeraz WE HAVE THE BEST SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT THAT MONEY CAN BUY...  They don't provide public safety and often ignore serious cases in places like El Mirage but they give an audience for your racist rants.  Unless you are native american you have no moral high ground upon which to stand.  DUH!

ggllww
ggllww

@john043012 @ExpertShot AND who is it you see standing in lines at all the Food Banks, at all the Handouts from companies that are expecting these goods to go to the CITIZENS, of Arizona....

TheyTAKE, MUCH MORE, THAN THEY GIVE.

TheyCallMeMrTibbs
TheyCallMeMrTibbs

@danzigsdaddy @PistolPete is confusing. keep clear there is civil law and criminal law. employer sanctions is the civil law and has no criminal penalties. there are still criminal laws -- forgery, accepting stolen ID -- that apply to employers. see 13-2002 and 13-2008.

danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@PistolPete thank you for the info..............still a little uncertain, but you helped me out with some of my questions

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@PistolPete @danzigsdaddy Do you honestly think an employer who was exposed will go out and hire those people again ?My guess they are being closely monitored most likely shy away from hiring any Hispanic looking person or at the very least spend a butt load of time investigating the background of the applicant.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@pszymeczek Really the 1600 and 1700's wow .You live in the 21st century, year 2013.

hapstone2
hapstone2

@delgadomrealtor1

Mexico has methodically displaced these vulnerable families   any clue as why that might be .

John was giving a best guess estimate ... not a personal evaluation .... to the pasted post above 

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@delgadomrealtor1 Again this is 2013 we have 1 out of 2 new grads either unemployed or underemployed and yes immigrants are welcome ,invited, so long as they go thru the channels  smuggler's are not going to move our country forward

delgadomrealtor1
delgadomrealtor1

Past means nothing? Tell that to native (indians) and you ll be surprised of the answer.  Why don t you understand that the immigrants enrich USA culturaly and economically?

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@delgadomrealtor1 You need to jetison yourself to 2013 the past means nothing .1879 means nothing immigrants during the 19 century  were invited look it up

delgadomrealtor1
delgadomrealtor1

Is easy to give opinnions with out looking to the past. Remember your ancestors were immigrants too. Were they useless pieces of shit?

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 It seems to the Obama administration spending 156 billion dollars is just a drop in the bucket they have already spent 6 1/2 trillion in that last 5 years.What needs to be done is to take the handcuffs off I.C.E and let them do the job we are paying them to do.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Unless you have $156 billion to deport every illegal immigrant, yes

It should be noted that government created this problem so government should be required to fix it.

john043012
john043012 topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967  so you feel the government should help (REWARD) those already here.being mandated to pay subsidies for the illegal immigrant children isn't enough for you .wow

 
Phoenix Concert Tickets
Loading...