August 2007
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The states take a stand

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State immigration laws increase employer liabilities

by Stephen M. Phillips
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While Congress has been unable to reach a political compromise on comprehensive immigration legislation, state legislators and local politicians have been active in the immigration area. In the absence of new federal legislation and responding to political pressures to do something about the immigration problem, state legislatures and local communities have enacted immigration statutes and ordinances during the past two years.

What's been happening

Although recently enacted state and local statutes do not change current federal immigration law and may ultimately be declared unconstitutional because of the federal government's pre-eminent role in immigration matters, they pose additional liabilities, burdens and risks not only to illegal immigrants but also to employers who may employ or do business with unauthorized workers.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that as of April 13, immigration legislation had been introduced in all 50 states' 2007 legislative sessions. Many of these bills are related to employment issues. This followed a busy 2006 legislative year during which 570 immigration-related...



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