Wednesday, January 24, 2007

HB 1024 (Illegal Alien Bill) Reversal of Fortune

Rep. Rick Green's bill to prohibit the state from contracting with businesses who employ illegal aliens not only passed out of committee, but overwhelmingly passed the House as well. This was after the bill failed to clear committee on the first try.

There could be several factors to explain this dramatic reversal of fortune. One could be the work of Eagle Forum Arkansas and Debbie Pelley to raise public awareness of the issue. Reports were that several of the legislators have said they received many calls and messages from people who favored the bill.

The second factor might be that liberal legislators realized that 1) labor unions were for the bill, since they don't like losing jobs to cheaters who employ illegals, and 2) illegals get employment two ways, the use ID fraud and get paid over the table or they just get paid under the table. In the first case someone's credit could be destroyed by illegal who stole their ID, and in the second case employers skip out on paying the state millions of dollars in worker's comp and unemployment monies. That may be what swayed more liberal legislators like Majority Leader Steve Harrelson.

After viewing this video of workers getting crippled up and sent away as emptyhanded as the state treasury by employers who cheat, it is easy to see why this one crosses "left/right" bounds.

The third reason that it may have passed is an unfortunate one in my view. The bill may have needed a little adjustment, but it got an amputation. The bill could have been fixed without weakening it.

(continued- click WEDNESDAY below and scroll down for rest of article)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

HB 1024 originally said that state agencies cannot do business with a contractor who "knows or should know" that he or a subcontractor employs illegal aliens. The amended version takes out the “or should know.”

That Jupiter-sized loophole makes it more similar to the seldom-enforced federal law that our current batch of unscrupulous employers are adapt at getting around. One otherwise very nice fellow explained to me how you find one guy who is legal, and he hires a crew of all illegals. Since you are subcontracting with him, you have plausable deniability in the rare event of a raid.

The "should know" provision needed some tweaking, but it did not need to be eliminated. We prosecute people all the time for what they "should know" under the crime "theft by receiving". So if regular Joe's can be sent to prison on such a principle, why can't guys who own companies at least face losing their fat state contracts?

Here is the wording in Arkansas' "Theft by Receiving" law, so that you will understand that WE are expected to know when we are getting something stolen when certain conditions are met.

"5-36-106. Theft by receiving.

(a) A person commits the offense of theft by receiving if he or she receives, retains, or disposes of stolen property of another person:
(1) Knowing that the property was stolen; or

(2) Having good reason to believe the property was stolen.

(b) As used in this section, "receiving" means acquiring possession, control, or title or lending on the security of the property.

(c) The following give rise to a presumption that a person knows or believes that property was stolen:

(1) The unexplained possession or control by the person of recently stolen property; or

(2) The acquisition by the person of property for a consideration known to be far below the property's reasonable value. "

7:07 PM, January 24, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After viewing this video of workers getting crippled up and sent away as emptyhanded as the state treasury by employers who cheat, it is easy to see why this one crosses "left/right" bounds.

Are you implying that only leftists care about workers getting crippled?

8:04 AM, January 25, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I guess not since you quote me saying it "crosses left/right bounds".

6:57 PM, January 25, 2007  

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