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Gov. Brewer asks appeals court to allow day labor rules to take effect

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, takes a final question after responding to President Obama's immigration speech, Friday, June 15, 2012, at the Capitol in Phoenix. Brewer said President Barack Obama represents a "pre-emptive strike" aimed at an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court ruling that could uphold parts of the state's immigration enforcement law. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Lawyers for Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer are asking an appeals court to rescind a ruling that prevents police from enforcing part of Arizona’s immigration law that prohibits people from blocking traffic when they seek or offer day labor services.

The governor’s appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is separate from an appeal she lodged before the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule in the coming days on whether to let police enforce the law’s more controversial elements. The little-known day labor provision isn’t part of the case before the nation’s highest court.

Brewer appealed the day labor ruling after U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton in February rejected the governor’s arguments that the rules were needed for traffic safety. Bolton, who pointed out that the law’s purpose was to make attrition through enforcement the state’s immigration policy, wrote that the law appears to target speech rather than a broader traffic problem.

It’s unclear whether the day labor rules were enforced by police while they were in effect from July 2010 until the decision in February.

Day labor organizers say they know of no arrests under the rules, though they added that day laborers are still arrested on trespassing and other charges that aren’t in the immigration law. In the past, some of the biggest police agencies in Arizona have reported little — if any — use of provisions in the law.

Brewer’s lawyers argued that Bolton’s day labor decision isn’t backed up by evidence and that the restrictions are meant to confront traffic safety concerns, as well as trespassing and damage to property.

They told the 9th Circuit that day laborers congregate on roadsides in large groups, flagging down vehicles and often swarming those that stop. They also said businesses in Phoenix, Cave Creek, Chandler, Mesa and Fountain Hills have complained to officials about the harm that day laborers cause to their revenues.

Groups that challenged the law argued the day labor rules unconstitutionally restrict the free speech rights of people who want to express their need for work. The groups say the state can’t justify the statewide ban on work solicitation speech imposed by the rules.

The Supreme Court is considering a July 2010 decision by Bolton that put the immigration law’s most controversial parts — such as a requirement that police check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons — on hold.

Legal experts expect that the Supreme Court likely will uphold the requirement for immigration-status checks.

One comment

  1. I totally disagree with this racist bill, which makes it an embarrassment to live in the state of Arizona. Jan Brewer doesn’t know what it means to live in poverty, doesn’t have to sweat homelessness, to wonder whether she’ll have enough gas to commute in her old beater of a car to her half-time minimum wage job. Let’s say she gives the lifestyle of what the real people in her state are facing every day…especially here in Mohave county with Uranium-contaminated air and wells. We welcome you with open arms, Jan!

    Let me give you all a wake-up call: this is not just about “illegal immigrants”. I live with a Rinso-white disabled friend who was born in Anaheim, California and has lived and while he was able, worked in the US all of his life. He is severely disabled, now in his mid-50′s and keeps getting the screws put to him by Social Security. He should not have been pulling weeds or using a shovel to dig holes or using a hula hoe in a people’s yard this past spring, but he did this to survive, to pay for electricity and a local “life line” telephone and insurance for an old vehicle he barely keeps running. He also has medical and prescription co-pays and faces fairly major upcoming surgery. He has been CHEATED by the nice, wealthy white couple he worked so hard for..according to the math, they paid him less than 77 cents per hour. How did they justify this? “We do not pay you by the hour. We pay you by the JOB.” Each time he worked, the job got larger. The husband asked for certain tasks to be done and then the wife would ask for other tasks to be done. Soon, he was doing twice the work and the absurdly low agreed-upon pay remained the same.

    Of course, the husband complains that this man “works slow”, claiming that the guy who worked before him “could have had the same (enormous!) job done in two hours!” The guy who worked there before him also had housing on the property and it was claimed that he was a tweeker who stole and destroyed property.

    My friend spent hours bending, removing a great deal of trash, including old filthy diapers and many hundreds of old cigarette butts from the premises. Every once in awhile, the husband would toss him a twenty. At the “end of the job”, he gave him $300..he’d worked many more than 300 hours! Then AFTER the end of the job, he is called back and works an ADDITIONAL 52 hours and is paid 40 dollars. Meanwhile, the man who owns the property has bought himself a boat, additional properties he expects to have cleared (manually) of weeds, purchased many expensive stepping stones, lumber for a deck, a number of large and expensive fruit trees and it has been painful to watch my friend have to BEG to be paid for work that he has done when he should NOT have been doing this work at ALL. My friend told them a Neurologist had told him he could not lift more than 15 pounds BEFORE he began the job…they did not believe or did not care. There are MANY witnesses who saw him out there working, day after day, week after week, month after month…the word has gotten around on these people.

    He would NOT have had this injury, would NOT be requiring surgery had he NOT worked for these fine, upstanding WHITE people. They pray to Jehovah. I am sure that this Jehovah will be very proud to know his “people” cheat, lie to and deceive the poor and vulnerable who worked even against medical advice and are now suffering for it. I’m sure they’ll be among the 144,000 who make it into Paradise. NOT. People who are Day Laborers, regardless of the color of their skin are not asking for CHARITY. They are not on the Welfare rolls. They are out there in an effort to make an honest living. Do I believe Jan Brewer is making an honest living? Sadly, I do not.

    What happened to the old but ethical concept of A Fair Day’s Wages for A Fair Day’s Work? Trying to create even more obstacles for them than already exist in the form of people who are arrogant and self-serving criminals should not be permitted in America.

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