As the Town of Payson prepares to enforce an ordinance aimed at employers who hire undocumented workers and landlords who rent to them, the Payson Roundup sat down with Mayor Bob Edwards to clarify the details. The immigration ordinance will be effective July 1.
If you have more questions about this ordinance, send them to editor Autumn Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (928) 474-5251 ext. 115 and we will publish the answers in the Roundup.
Q. To what level does an employer need to go to verify if a worker is legal, and what will happen if an employer hires a worker with false documents?
A. They need to provide the paperwork -- some paperwork from immigration to prove they are a resident. If false papers are given, it is not the employer's role to determine if they are false. If it becomes apparent (that undocumented workers are employed at a business) we will have to deal with it differently.
Q. According to the ordinance, business owners are now required to put license numbers on all advertisements. Could you clarify?
A. Basically, it means putting the business license number on any advertisement, but it is aimed at the trucks. The way it is written now, it means all advertising.
Q. Does every business need to have business license numbers painted on their trucks, or just contractors?
A. If you have a business vehicle, you must display the license number. If they are advertising on that truck, they better have a business license on it.
Q. What is the purpose of displaying business licenses?
A. Just for ease. If you have the license number on your truck, it probably is legitimate. If not, you question why. Self-policing is the main thing.
Q. Is there a penalty for not including your business license in an advertisement?
A. Licenses will be revoked instead of issuing a fine. There are fines for employers who do things that are illegal in the workplace.
Q. Can a media outlet be fined for not including a business license on an advertisement?
A. No, the whole purpose is to get employers to hire legal people.
It is not to harass businesses.
Q. What are the plans for enforcement and how much money is the town willing to spend on enforcement?
A. Most of the enforcement will come after someone makes a complaint. There will not be a full-time enforcement employee.
Q. According to the ordinance, businesses will lose their license if they are caught hiring undocumented workers. How can a business get its license back?
A. We have not arrived at what we are going to do. If they demonstrate and mend their ways, they will get their license back, but we probably would watch them closer in the future.
Q. Will all businesses be required to sign affidavits promising not to hire undocumented workers?
A. Basically, it will be new businesses that will have to sign affidavits.
Q. What documentation will landlords be requiring from renters?
A. It is not spelled out. What are generally accepted are proof of employment, a birth certificate, and a Social Security card.
We are making that decision now.
Q. Who can business owners contact with questions about the immigration ordinance?
A. It has yet to be determined.
Q. Is the town planning any meetings with business owners and landlords to assist them in complying with the ordinance?
A. It's pretty simple really. You hire legal people, and you have paperwork showing that (they are legal). If there are questions, we will set up some educational meetings.
Read complete text of immigration ordinance