Immigration Ordinance In Effect July 1

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A business license ordinance aimed at reducing the number of illegal immigrant workers in town will take effect in two weeks, on July 1.

The ordinance has not undergone any further changes from the amended version passed by the Payson Town Council April 5.

Beginning July 1, all vehicles containing a business' name, logo or any other advertising are required to display the business license number.

The license number display may vary, said town clerk Silvia Smith. The number may be drawn on the vehicle with a marker or paint. Magnets and other methods may also be used to display the number.

Smith has already mailed out letters to owners of each of the 1,471 active businesses licensed in Payson. The letters explain the requirements and contain a sample affidavit business owners must now sign when applying for a new or renewed business license.

The affidavit calls for business owners to review the records of their employees and to attest "to the best of their knowledge, information, and belief, all of the employees currently working in Payson are United States citizens, permanent resident aliens, or persons otherwise lawfully in the United States."

The affidavit also includes sections for business owners to list applicable workers' compensation insurance and state license information.

Business owners who violate the ordinance by hiring illegal immigrants will be subject to a possible business license revocation, may have their business license denied or face possible fines of $500 or $1,000.

Appeal hearings may be requested with the town manager, who has the final decision on whether or not to reinstate the business license.

Deputy Town Attorney Tim Wright said the town is more focused on remedying the violations than simply punishing offenders.

A copy of the ordinance and resolution -- Ordinance 709A and Resolution 2248A -- may be requested from the Payson town clerk's office or viewed on the town's Web site at www.ci.payson.az.us. Direct questions to Tessie Flores at (928) 474-5242 ext. 241.

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