Judge Supports Arizona Law on Immigrants
By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD
Published: December 22, 2007
A new Arizona law considered among the nation’s toughest against employers who hire illegal immigrants will go into effect on Jan. 1 after federal judges on Friday refused to block it.
Both a United States district judge in Phoenix and a federal appeals court in San Francisco, ruling on separate lawsuits by business and civil rights groups, declined to stand in the way.
The law calls for suspending the license of an employer found to have knowingly hired an illegal worker, and revocation for a second offense.
First, Judge Neil Vincent Wake of Federal District Court in Phoenix issued a sharp defense of the rights of lawful workers and said the law would not burden businesses in the short run.
Then on Friday night, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit deferred a decision on an injunction until after a hearing by Judge Wake on Jan. 16, provided a “decision is reached with reasonable promptness.”
Julie A. Pace, a lawyer for the groups challenging the law, said they accepted the decisions and would now focus on Judge Wake’s hearing, but she predicted that having the law go into effect, with the possibility it could later be rejected, would cause more confusion.