AZ Prosecutors to Delay Any Illegal Immigration Cases

January 24, 2008 ( - Arizona's local prosecutors have agreed to wait until the end of February before moving forward with cases filed under the state's new illegal immigrant employment law.

A news report from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) said the prosecutors made that promise during a federal court hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Neil V. Wake but did not make any representations about whether they would kick off any further investigations if complaints are received.

The Legal Arizona Workers Act allows for suspension and revocation of licenses of businesses that knowingly employ unauthorized workers and mandates that employers use the federal E-Verify program during the hiring process. A ttorneys for both sides appeared to agree the language of the statute applies to all employees, not just employees hired since the law took effect on January 1, according to SHRM.

Some Arizona businesses and Hispanic civil rights groups filed a lawsuit to temporarily block the state’s new law, asking that the court declare the law unconstitutional (See Businesses Request Delay of AZ Illegal Worker Law ). Wake told the lawyers to expect his ruling on legal challenges to the law by February 1.

E-Verify allows employers to electronically check the names and identification numbers of new hires to verify that they are authorized to work in the United States. At the time of registration, employers must accept an electronic Memorandum of Understanding, which requires the employer to make several promises to both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration.

At the federal level, the DHS is appealing a federal judge’s order blocking the federal version of the Arizona law (SeeDHS Still Pressing for ‘No-Match’ Letter Rule Implementation ).