The Crackdown on Employment of Illegal Immigrants Spreads to California

The Crackdown on Employment of Illegal Immigrants Spreads to California

Murrieta and Temecula Join Growing List of Southern California Cities Requiring Employers to Use E-Verify

By Mahsa Aliaskari and Matthew Hayes

Greenberg Traurig's Business Immigration team has written this commentary on recent developments in California that require employers who do business in several municipalities to participate in E-Verify. These ordinances are part of the trend of state and municipal efforts to prevent employment of unauthorized foreign workers. Employers need to be aware of these trends and take measures to ensure compliance, as the authors explain.

“In 2007, Arizona became the first state to pass legislation requiring employers to use the voluntary E-Verify program to confirm the employment eligibility of new hires,” explain Mahsa Aliaskari and Matthew Hayes. “Since then, Arizona has been the focal point for publicity and legal challenges on attempts by states and localities to crack down on the employment of illegal immigrants. However, Arizona is not the only place where we are seeing state and local action.”

“Behind the scenes, several Southern California cities have quietly followed Arizona's lead enacting similar laws mandating use of E-Verify. On July 13, 2010, Temecula joined the growing list of Southern California cities requiring employers to use E-Verify as a condition for maintaining a business license, and on December 20, 2010, Murrieta's city council moved forward with its plans to institute a similar ordinance,” the authors write. “While the State of California has not jumped on the bandwagon, many of its localities are taking action and increasing the burden on companies doing business not only across state lines but across city and county lines.”

”Given the expansion of immigration laws at the state and local level, it is imperative that employers keep abreast of developments in this area and ensure that their hiring practices are legally compliant in each of the locations they employ workers,” Aliaskari and Hayes emphasize. “Employers failing to comply with these E-Verify laws can face substantial penalties, including monetary fines, preclusion from contracting with federal, state and local governments, and suspension or revocation of their business licenses.”

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This Business Immigration and Compliance Alert was written by Mahsa Aliaskari and Matthew Hayes. Questions regarding the subject matter of this Alert should be directed to Ms. Aliaskari (310.586.7713; aliaskarim@gtlaw.com), Mr. Hayes (310.586.3871; hayesm@gtlaw.com) or any Greenberg Traurig Business Immigration & Compliance or Labor & Employment practice team member.

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Lexis.com subscribers may also access the following Immigration materials:

Ann Allott et al., Immigration Enforcement: I-9 Compliance Handbook sections 9.01 State and Territorial Laws Concerning Employer Sanctions, 9.02 Local Laws Concerning Employment of Unauthorized Aliens.

Ben Stanley, Federal Appeals Court Decisions Do Little to Resolve Permissibility of State and Local Laws Mandating E-Verify Use, 15 Bender's Immigr. Bull. 1403 (Oct. 15, 2010).

Ann Allott on Arizona and Illinois Laws (and Lawsuits) on Undocumented Workers, 2008 Emerging Issues 980 (Nov. 16, 2007).

Harry Asatrian and Ainsley Harrell, To E-Verify or not to E-Verify, 2009 Emerging Issues 4512.

Lynda S. Zengerle, Zengerle on the United States v. Illinois E-Verify Decision, 2009 Emerging Issues 3500.

Charles Gordon, Stanley Mailman, and Stephen Yale-Loehr, Immigration Law and Procedure sections 7.03 to 7.05.

Additional Emerging Issues Analysis related to Immigration Law.