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.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.

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Shawn Harris