SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The 9th Circuit upheld an Arizona law allowing the state to revoke the business licenses of employers that hire illegal immigrants.
Judge Schroeder struck down a challenge to the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act, saying it is not pre-empted by federal immigration laws.
The state law requires employers to enroll their workers in an “E-Verify” system, which can confirm their work-authorization status. If an employee is not confirmed, the employer has to notify the Department of Homeland Security or face sanctions. The Act allows Arizona to suspend or revoke the licenses of businesses that knowingly or intentionally hire illegal immigrants.
Various business and civil-rights organizations filed lawsuits against the 15 county attorneys of Arizona, the governor, the state attorney general and other government officials. They claimed the Act oversteps the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. They also argued that the Act violates employers’ due-process rights.
Schroeder upheld the district court’s ruling that the state law qualifies as a licensing law under the federal statutes, which means it isn’t pre-empted by federal policy.