Arizona has done the rest of the country a favor by provoking us to try to finish the business of immigration reform that Congress failed to complete in 2007. Whether or not the Arizona law is found to violate civil rights, comprehensive national reform legislation is the only way to resolve most of the immigration issues. Here is a short list of what needs to be done in the best interests of the construction industry and the U.S.
1) Tougher border security is critical. Walls and barriers by themselves aren’t going to get it done. There has to be a combination of barriers, patrols, proven surveillance technology and stiff penalties for employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. But as the California Landscape Contractors Association points out, any employer penalties should include safe-harbor language for good-faith mistakes, “particularly if the employer must rely on government-provided data, such as a verification database.”