A House panel voted Thursday to ask Arizona voters to have the state start auditing some companies to make sure they're not hiring undocumented workers.
Legislation approved by the Judiciary Committee would require all state and local agencies that issue licenses to audit up to 5 percent of those companies to ensure that all workers are legally entitled to work in this country.
That would include things like licenses for contractors and to serve alcohol. And that, in turn could target some of the types of businesses that appear to hire illegal immigrants including construction companies and hotels and restaurants with liquor licenses.
But it also would mean audits of barber shops, doctor's offices, real estate agents and funeral directors.
And all companies, whether state licensed or not, would be subject to investigation of their hiring if they pay their workers in cash and don't comply with various other employment laws.
And now, the money quote, which I would like to get your reaction to:
(Yes, it's the same flag-waving Russell Pearce that I wrote about earlier this week.)On the other side of the issue, Rep. Ben Miranda, D-Phoenix, said the measure to dry up undocumented workers ignores the nation's declining birth rate.
"Who's going to fix my air conditioning?'' he said. "Who's going to mow my lawn? Who's going to assist the dentist putting dentures in?''
Pearce called that reasoning flawed. "That's the same argument used when we tried to abolish slavery: Who's going to bring in the crops,'' he said.
"We have 18 million Americans out of work,'' Pearce said. "What we don't have is employers willing to pay the wages to lure them to the jobs.''