On Apr 29 2010 by Klasko Immigration

Arizona Immigration Law Sparks Mass Protests Across the Country

On April 23, Governor Jan Brewer signed the harshest state immigration law to date. The Support Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act  is slated to go into effect on or about August 24 (90 days after the legislature goes into recess, currently scheduled to occur on May 26, 2010).

The new law requires police to determine whether a person is in the United States legally. It also requires immigrants to carry their alien registration documents at all times and requires police to question people if there is reason to suspect they’re in the United States illegally.

Critics of the law have stated that it is unconstitutional and will foster racial profiling.  The most controversial provisions of the law include the requirement that police detain individuals they reasonably suspect are in the United States without authorization. The law makes failing to carry immigration documents a state crime and allows residents to sue cities if the believe the law is not being enforced.  Moreover, the law aims to stop day labor solicitations by making it illegal to seek work from a road or sidewalk if doing so slows or impedes traffic.  It also makes it a crime for a driver to pick someone up if the driver knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien is in the U.S. illegally. 

The bill further amends the E-Verify provisions of the Legal Arizona Workers Act to require that employers keep a record of the work eligibility verification for all new hires for the duration of the employee’s employment or at least three years, whichever is longer. Interestingly, there is no such retention requirement under federal law for employers who participate in the E-Verify program.  Although, federal immigration law requires that all employers maintain their Form I-9, employment eligibility verification forms for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.  Thus, employers in Arizona will now be subject to two different retention requirements related to their employment eligibility documentation.

MALDEF, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Arizona and the National Immigration Law Center announced today that they are preparing to challenge Arizona’s extreme new law.  Protests against the legislation are scheduled to take place around the country on May 1st with over 100,000 people anticipated in Dallas, Texas alone.  KILP will continue to provide updates to our clients regarding the status of the legislation and the impact that this will have on the national debate relating to Comprehensive Immigration Reform.