La Voz Picks Up Story On Immigration Ordinance

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"More of the same" is how Mayor Bob Edwards described his interview with La Voz, a Spanish language newspaper owned by Gannett, the parent company of The Arizona Republic.

A reporter for La Voz came to Payson Friday to speak to people about the ordinance the town is considering that would crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers.

"They all want to make this into an illegal immigration (issue)," Edwards said. "They are trying to make it into a bigger story than it is."

Edwards said he expects that only the Spanish media will continue following the issue.

About two weeks ago, Univision 33, a Spanish language news station out of Phoenix, came to Payson to talk about the proposed ordinance.

Edwards said the La Voz reporter asked why Payson is taking this stance and how it all came about. He added that he was also asked how much of a problem it was in the town.

"We are dealing with the employer side of it," Edwards said.

The mayor said when Channel 33 decided to come to Payson to cover the immigration issue, they first called Town Attorney Sam Streichman, who referred them to Edwards.

La Voz, on the other hand, contacted him directly.

The Spanish language newspaper also contacted Tina Bruess, director of the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the impact the proposed ordinance would have on the local business community.

Bruess, when contacted by La Voz, asked them to meet with the mayor before talking to her.

"I told (the reporter) the chamber had no stance on the issue," she said. "Our goal is to educate and inform (businesses of) what the laws and regulations are."

She said the key word in any discussions about an ordinance at this time is the word "proposed."

"We tell (businesses) what laws are out there, and what they need to do to stay in compliance," she told the La Voz reporter.

The reporter informed Bruess that he was going to meet with various trades people to get their views on the proposal, including employees from the restaurant, construction and landscaping industry.

Bruess said she was told by the La Voz reporter that there are residents in Phoenix who are very upset with the proposed ordinance.

The article is scheduled to run in La Voz on Wednesday, and can be viewed on its Web site the following day at www.azcentral.com/lavoz.

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