‘Go Ahead, Try and Make Me Pay You’: Wage Theft and S.B. 1070
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
- Organization: In These Times
The Arizona Interfaith Alliance for Worker Justice, a worker center in Phoenix, has seen a “huge spike” in wage theft since SB 1070, Arizona’s draconian immigration law, passed in April. Trina Zelle, the group’s executive director, has seen a “noticeable shift” in the four months since the measure was signed into law.
"Employers are even more brazen in their mistreatment of workers," Zelle says. "Increasingly, “Go ahead, try and make me pay you” is the response workers hear when they confront their employers over unpaid wages.
Under S.B. 1070, scheduled to be implemented on Thursday, the police are required to question anyone they have a “reasonable suspicion” is in the country illegally, and arrest and move to deport anyone who can’t prove their legal status. The law will lead to racial profiling, deter immigrants from reporting crimes, and further exacerbate racism and intolerance.
As early as May, the measure had cast an ominous shadow. A friend of Zelle’s, a Latino U.S. citizen, was pulled over by police and asked for his birth certificate. Naturally incredulous – who travels with their birth certificate? – he was told by the cop, “Well, you look like an illegal.” (click on link to read full story)