Arizona’s Crackdown on Hiring Illegal Immigrants Faces Court Test
Posted Dec 14, 2007 10:57 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge on Tuesday will consider whether to block an Arizona law that threatens to pull the business licenses of companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
The law, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, is one of the toughest measures enacted by states to battle illegal immigration, the New York Times reports. The outcome of court challenges to the law is of interest to businesses fearful of losing their licenses and other states that want to join the crackdown.
Lawyers challenging the law say the federal government has sole authority to regulate immigration, while supporters of the law say Arizona has the power to decide which businesses to license.
The law, which requires county attorneys to investigate complaints, calls for suspension of a business’s license for the first offense and revocation for the second.
The Arizona Chamber of Commerce is among the groups challenging the law, the Wall Street Journal reports (sub. req.). “It's crystal-clear that the employer sanctions law will harm the state economy," chamber president Glenn Hamer told the newspaper.