High Court Takes on (the other) AZ Immigration Law

Jerry Markon of the Washington Post has written a story on the Supreme Court's decision to review an Arizona Law which creates punitive sanctions against employers who hire immigrants.   The full story can be read here. Excerpts are below:

The Arizona law that the court will review during its term starting in October imposes sanctions on employers who hire illegal immigrants. It is not the new Arizona law that President Obama and other members of his administration have recently criticized. That measure empowers police to question anyone who authorities have a "reasonable suspicion" is an illegal immigrant.

With the Justice Department preparing a lawsuit against Arizona over the new law, the court's decision to review the earlier measure -- the Legal Arizona Workers Act -- signals a willingness to get involved in one of the nation's most politically divisive issues. The Obama administration had urged the court to review and set aside the Legal Arizona Workers Act, saying federal immigration law should preempt state efforts.

U.S. officials have said that in its suit against Arizona's law empowering police to question illegal immigrants, the Justice Department is considering a similar "preemption" argument.

The Legal Arizona Workers Act is designed to stop workers from knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants. Naturally this has led local businesses to file lawsuits to stop the enforcement of the law.

Ronald J. Hanson of the Arizona Republic has compiled basic facts about the program here. Excerpts are below for your viewing pleasure.

.....all business owners in Arizona risk losing their state and local licenses if they knowingly or intentionally - the law makes a distinction between "knowingly" and "intentionally" - hire undocumented workers after that date. Licenses can be suspended for 10 days or longer for a first offense and revoked altogether for a second offense.

Employers are required to check the legal status of their new hires using E-Verify, a free online federal program that checks names and identification documents to ensure that new employees are eligible to work.

The law also sharpens the punishment for identity theft, a crime frequently associated with illegal workers.

It is now aggravated identity theft, a felony, to possess the identity information of someone else to seek work or to have such information for three or more people without their consent.

Under the law, it doesn't matter whether the information is for an actual person or a bogus identity.

We will be following the Supreme Court's movements on this closely, check back here for developments.