A federal judge ordered an immediate halt Monday to Arizona’s enforcement of identity theft laws that penalize immigrants in the country illegally for seeking employment.
U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell said in his order that the laws are at odds with federal statutes that protect such immigrants from prosecution simply for applying for work.
Federal law makes it a crime to use falsified documents, but draws a distinction between identity theft and application to work. The application to work by an immigrant in the country illegally is not, in itself, a crime under federal law.
Arizona tried to change that. In bills passed in 2007 and 2008, Arizona changed the definition of identity theft to include attempts at employment by immigrants in the country illegally. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio began to enforce them.
A group of plaintiffs challenged those laws, including a woman who was convicted of identity theft and a taxpayer in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix. They objected to using taxpayer dollars to enforce the law. Arpaio tried to get the suit thrown out of court.
The plaintiffs argued before Campbell that the federal rule on employment applications by immigrants in the country illegally supersedes Arizona law. To resolve those challenges, Campbell took into account a 1947 U.S. Supreme Court case that says courts should assume that “the historic police powers of the states” aren’t superseded “unless that was the clear and manifest purpose of Congress.”
read more here: http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-arizona-immigrants-sheriff-2015...