by: ,

Sorry to disappoint, Mr. Rodgers, the signs are not gone. What has been presented is a second enforcement measure imitating the newly implemented Arizona Law that has already passed three major court battles and is working. Illegal immigrants are packing up and moving home.

Many people were nervous that what's been presented would not pass the constitutional test. So far Arizona's law has. It looks like a winner. Why not follow Arizona's lead? They know how bad it can get.

To set the record straight, this 'dangerous' initiative would send no employer to jail. It would not imply guilt. Innocence could be proven. Our system would still work in the way it is intended. A judge will have all the discretion to determine if our employers have acted in good faith to abide by the laws already in place. Compliance will impact whether an employer loses his business license, pays any fine and will have to make adjustments to his workforce. And all would not be lost, it can be reinstated simply by demonstrating compliance with the law.

This is about implementing a preventative measure that will say to illegal workers and exploitive employers 'you must abide by the laws everyone else is required to.' Get your paper work in place. Get here legally, then you've got standing. Then you can demand a living wage.

Hire legally. Pay reasonable wages and carry workman's compensation insurance.

Hiring illegals should be - illegal. These individuals have not been screened, identified positively, educated about our country or given a full rundown of our expectations. This is Mexico's own immigration standard. All of Europe enforces the same. They practice careful immigration control. Important, wouldn't you agree? Without this valuable screening process, we have no information about the individual living and working side by side with legal citizens. We don't know whether or not there are past felonies, fines or other circumstances which would stay entrance. We don't even know their names - for sure, that is.

Unfortunately, because of our porous borders and lax federal approach going back for years, our system now strains at the load.

The impact of illegal employment is high. Beginning with the destruction of a living wage, the impact hurts our public financing of schools, our hospitals, as well as our general safety on the road. The public social net meant for the citizens with genuine short-term financial distress is now being taken by illegal entrants. Maricopa County estimates they've lost 1.2 billion dollars in depressed wages due to illegal employment. We in Columbia County cannot afford to let that happen.

Nationally, neither party looks capable of stemming the flow any time soon. Measures like this one are going to have to be implemented to protect local counties and states in order to address these stiff consequences.

Isn't it ironic that the far left who used to be the ally of the American worker is striving to stifle an initiative and protect the illegal activity that seeks to destroy a living wage for the American working man? I have been called a dangerous terminator. However, this is a small price to pay to stand up for the welfare of my home town and my neighbors. The signs are large, yes, but they are proudly displayed.

Editor's note: Wayne Mayo lives in St. Helens and is the chief petitioner in the Columbia County Worker's Only Initiative.

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