Friday, September 19, 2008

Arizona Immigration Law: Employers May Lose Business Licenses

The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that employers in Arizona may lose their business licences if the government determines that they have hired undocumented workers.

The Legal Arizona Workers Act targets employers who hire undocumented workers.

Its principal sanction is the revocation of state licenses to do business in Arizona. It has yet to be enforced against any employer.

Several groups challenged the law on its face, saying that federal law preempts the state from imposing this law and arguing that it violated employers' rights to due process to challenge the federal determination of the work-authorization status before sanctions are imposed. The court rejected both arguments.

Upholding the law, the court instructed that the statute can and should be interpreted to allow employers to present evidence to rebut the presumption that an employee is unauthorized before any license can be adversely affected.

The court upheld the statute in all respects against the facial challenge, but noted that it is brought in a "blank factual background" without the context of a particular case. If and when an actual case is brought under this law, other legal challenges will be available to employers.

CPLC V. NAPOLITANO - read the case here.

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