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State Chamber joins fight against sanctions bill

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry announced July 24 it will join on as a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging Arizona’s recently passed employer sanctions bill that punishes businesses caught knowingly hiring illegal immigrants.

The suit, filed by Arizona Contractors’ Association and the Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform, challenges the employer sanction law on the grounds it unfairly denies businesses due process rights and forays into the federal duties of immigration regulation.

The board of directors of the business lobbying group also agreed to a four part strategy that “acknowledges the public’s desire for immigration reform and yet strives to make improvements to the law.”

Work with other business groups to change the law in either a special or regular legislative session is advised and the chamber will seek to instill desired changes mentioned in Gov. Janet Napolitano’s July 2 signing letter for H2779.

In the letter, the governor listed five shortcomings that included the need for an anti-discrimination clause, exemptions for business serving “critical infrastructures,” and budgetary shortfalls for enforcement of the bill.

The chamber also will continue to educate businesses to comply with the law and press for increased federal funding for improvements for the Basic Pilot Program, that employers will be forced to use to verify the eligibility of new hires staring Jan. 1.

The Arizona Restaurant and Hospitality Association also announced earlier this month it was joining the lawsuit as a plaintiff.

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