In Lake Havasu City, a member of a prominent building group and a Minutemen leader have discovered they have much common ground on the contentious topic of illegal immigration.
Bill Dyda of the Lake Havasu City Minutemen believes some local employers are hiring illegal aliens. He also strongly feels those same employers are depressing the wages of law-abiding citizens here.
“That's the only reason they hire them,” Dyda said, adding that health care, education and social services costs all go up as a direct result.
At its Feb. 13 regular City Council meeting, a motion granting the city manager to pursue an agreement with ICE is to be discussed and acted on, said Mayor Mark Nexsen.
Nothing is set in place “until ICE puts together the final agreement,” he said. “They sent us a sample document to be hammered out at a later date.”
“Most MOUs have been signed with a department of corrections,” Nexsen said.
If seen through to fruition, the local agreement would enable at least five Lake Havasu City police officers to enforce immigration laws. Right now, when an officer makes a routine arrest - traffic, criminal or otherwise - and suspects the person may be in the country illegally, ICE is contacted and the federal government takes over from there.
Across the nation, 42 state and local agencies are asking the federal government to train officers on immigration arrest procedures, states AP.
“The federal government is broken and has failed us miserably,” Dyda said.
Asked about police staffing, he said officers should not be overburdened with the extra work because they would still be doing regular daily police duties.
Only if they encounter a suspected illegal alien would their new authority kick in.
A few members of the Colorado River Building Industry Association have expressed their concerns over Lake Havasu City researching the possibility of giving local police the authority to enforce federal immigration laws.
Bud Schulz, executive director for C.R.B.I.A., listed some of the advantages of using legal workers in a newsletter to members:
- Not having to be concerned about losing employees to deportation
- Having your personnel audits go well because your employees' documentation is clean
- Being comfortable in the knowledge that your company's name will not appear negatively in print
Last week, Schulz wanted to clear the air with anyone hinting that racism or profiling are factors in his position.
“I have no objection to people hiring legitimately, legal migrant workers who unquestionably have a right to be here,” he said.
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