Judge Upholds AZ Illegal Worker Law

February 8, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Legal Arizona Workers Act, which calls for suspension and revocation of licenses of businesses that knowingly employ unauthorized workers, has been upheld by a federal court.

The Associated Press reports U.S. District Judge Neil Wake dismissed the lawsuit filed by business groups, including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which argued the Arizona law unconstitutionally infringes on federal immigration powers (See AZ Prosecutors to Delay Any Illegal Immigration Cases). Wake concluded that there is no conflict with federal immigration law.

He said federal law specifically lets states regulate business licensing. “Preservation of that state power was itself part of Congress’ careful balancing of policy objectives,” Wake wrote in his opinion, according to the AP.

Wake also found the law gives sufficient due-process protections to businesses.

The business groups said they will appeal Wake’s ruling and ask for an emergency order blocking enforcement of the law.

Under the Act, businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants could face a business license suspension lasting up to 10 days, and second-time violators would have their business licenses permanently revoked. The law also mandates that employers use the federal E-Verify program during the hiring process.