ADL: Arizona Employment Law Could Foster Discrimination Against Immigrants
Update: May 26, 2011: The Supreme Court upheld the "Legal Arizona Worker's Act." More >>
New York, NY, September 13, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of a challenge by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others to a stringent Arizona employment verification law that could lead to discrimination against immigrants and other groups.
"Arizona's employment verification law is unconstitutional as it is clearly preempted by federal law," said Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director. "The responsibility to set immigration policy is that of the federal government, not individual states. We are also concerned that the Arizona law invites disparate treatment of immigrants and may foster discrimination."
In 2008, Arizona enacted the controversial Legal Arizona Workers Act, which imposes severe sanctions on employers who hire undocumented workers and mandates that all employers use E-Verify, a temporary and voluntary federal program that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law.
The brief argues that the law should be struck down as unconstitutional because it frustrates Congress's intent to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.
ADL joined a coalition of civil rights and labor organizations in filing the brief, including the Asian American Justice Center, the Asian American Institute, National Council of La Raza and Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.
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The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.