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Posted: 1/30/2006 9:35:12 PM EDT
This article is confusing except for one part, it clearly says that NOTHING will be done about illegals

AZ sanctions for illegal hiring put on hold
JACQUES BILLEAUD
The Associated Press
1-30-06
www.tucsoncitizen.com/breakingnews/013006illegal_sanctions
PHOENIX - A proposal for Arizona to punish employers who hire illegal immigrants was put on hold Monday at the Legislature after the leader of a state agency said he didn't have enough staff to investigate what could be a large number of complaints.

Under the bill, employers who get caught hiring illegal immigrants could face punishments ranging from exposure to lawsuits to the revocation of their business licenses.

Supporters say businesses that hire illegal workers are encouraging illegal immigration. Opponents say the federal government already prohibits illegal hirings and that the problem is best left to Congress to fix.

The proposal would require the ombudsman's office, which tries to help citizens resolve problems with state agencies, to hire a person to focus on illegal hirings.

Patrick Shannahan, who runs the ombudsman's office, said the bill would expand the scope of his office from state agencies to the private sector, give his office a law enforcement task and doesn't give him the discretion to decline to investigate complaints.

"I really do have an excess staff capacity," Shannahan told a legislative committee Monday.

The committee heard testimony from an advocate for reducing illegal immigration and a business group that opposes the proposed punishments, but didn't take a vote on the bill.

State Republican Rep. Chuck Gray of Mesa, chairman of the House's Federal Mandates and Property Rights Committee, said he kept the bill from coming to a vote because he wanted problems with the proposal to be worked out before the rest of the Legislature considers it.

"The majority of our committee supports the bill or at least the premise," Gray said. "The important thing is to make sure that when we go forward that it is a good law that actually works. And there was testimony that said some things don't work."

While the proposal would provide the ombudsman's office with $100,000 to investigate complaints of illegal hiring, Shannahan said it wouldn't add any more employees to his agency's five-person staff.

"I'm stretched to the limit now," Shannahan said. "I don't even have a few people to do this."

Shannahan said the proposal could require his office to investigate all allegations of illegal hirings. He said he currently has the ability to decline some complaints presented by citizens, so that he can make the best use of his funding.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 4:56:40 PM EDT
Sticking the Ombudsmans Office seems a little odd. Seeing as it has little or no criminal investigative capability and it's employees likely are not Peace Officers, it would have a long learning curve.
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