It was with great interest I read the letter from Mr. Jim Hill and his analysis of the new ordinance regarding undocumented workers.
Mr. Hill states that he takes "every precaution" allowed by the federal government to ensure that he never mistakenly hires an illegal worker. I beg to differ. Either Mr. Hill has not heard of, or chooses to ignore a very valuable tool available to every employer known as the "Basic Pilot Program."
The Employment Eligibility Verification (EEV)/Basic Pilot Program is available on the Internet for all U.S. employers seeking to verify the employment eligibility of new hires. This program enables employers to electronically verify the work eligibility of new hires directly with the appropriate federal agencies, and is widely considered to be one of the most effective tools available to foster increased compliance with immigration laws. This is a free service and takes but moments to complete.
As stated by our President, "Part of a comprehensive immigration plan is to give employers the tools necessary to determine whether or not the workers they're looking for are here legally in America. And we've got such a plan -- Basic Pilot, it's called. It's working." -- President George W. Bush, July 5, 2006.
In order to dismiss Mr. Hill's concerns regarding prosecution for failing to properly screen a prospective employee, may I suggest that the City of Payson consider adding an amendment to the current ordinance that would hold any employer immune from prosecution when the employer voluntarily enrolls in the "Basic Pilot Program" and routinely verifies the eligibility of all new hires. May I also suggest that the City of Payson also enrolls in the "Basic Pilot Program" to set an example.
There we have it. No concerns about phony documents, no increased concerns with anti-discrimination laws, no concerns with prosecution and no more excuses.
Scot Stevens, Payson