ADL Disappointed in High Court Decision to Uphold Arizona Employment Law

New York, NY, May 26, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed disappointment in a Supreme Court decision to uphold an Arizona law that imposes harsh penalties on businesses that hire undocumented workers, saying the law could foster discrimination against immigrants.

The League issued the following statement:

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the "Legal Arizona Workers Act" could have the consequence of fostering discrimination against immigrants.

The law increases the legal risks for businesses that employ undocumented workers but fails to provide sufficient safeguards to protect those workers against unlawful treatment. It undermines federal efforts to balance discrimination concerns with control of illegal immigration.

The Arizona law also requires state use of E-Verify – a federal pilot program that allows employers to verify the eligibility of newly-hired employees – even though the program relies on records that are prone to error. That is one reason Congress has decided to hold off on making participation in the program mandatory.

Although the Court has upheld Arizona's law, we hope other states will show greater concern for the potentially discriminatory impact such laws can have, and choose not to follow Arizona's lead.

ADL joined a coalition brief in the case, Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, urging the high court to strike down the Arizona law.

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