Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thomas and Arpaio to Enforce Employer Sanctions Law

From the county attorney's office -

Partnership Forged for Investigation of Possible Employer Violations

The County Attorney’s Office today announced that it has entered into an agreement with the Sheriff’s Office to jointly investigate possible violations of Arizona’s new employer sanctions law. The new employer sanctions law (Arizona Revised Statute Section 23-212), which goes into effect January 1, 2008, authorizes the county attorney to seek suspension and, ultimately, revocation of the business license of an employer who knowingly or intentionally hires an illegal immigrant.

At a press conference today, County Attorney Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio signed an intergovernmental agreement between their two offices that establishes this partnership. Both the Sheriff’s Office and the County Attorney’s Office will field complaints from citizens regarding suspected violations of the employer sanctions law.

Complaints may come from phone calls, emails or regular mail. Sheriff’s deputies will investigate. Prosecutors in the County Attorney’s Office will analyze the cases investigated and determine if there is sufficient evidence to go to court and seek to suspend or revoke the business license of the employer.

Maricopa County has been granted a budget of $1.4 million to help enforce this law, which designates county attorneys as the enforcement agencies. Under the agreement between the County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office, up to $1 million from that fund may be spent to help fund the sheriff’s enforcement efforts.

“In seeking a partner for enforcing Arizona’s new employer sanctions law, I found the choice was clear,” said County Attorney Andrew Thomas. “Sheriff Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office have a proven track record of enforcing our immigration laws and not caving in to political correctness.”

Thomas added, “Honest businesses owners who play by the rules and make an innocent mistake have nothing to fear from us. On the other hand, employers who knowingly or intentionally hire illegal immigrants are right to be worried.”

“I appreciate the request by County Attorney Andrew Thomas to assist him in enforcing the new civil employer sanction law,” said Sheriff Arpaio. “The Sheriff’s Office specialized Triple I Unit (Illegal Immigration Interdiction) including 160 ICE trained Sheriff’s officers will be a great benefit in enforcing this new law.”

For more information contact:

Mike Anthony Scerbo, Public Information Officer

(602) 506-3170 (office) or (602) 489-6913 (cell)

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