The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), along with other leading civil rights and labor organizations, recently filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court to challenge the state of Arizona’s mandatory E-Verify law.
E-Verify is a program run by the Department of Homeland Security that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees using databases maintained by the government. Congress established the program on a temporary and voluntary basis because of the potential for discrimination against immigrants.
Last year, Arizona enacted the Legal Arizona Workers Act (upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals), which requires all employers operating in the state to use the system. This act has since generated controversy over the potential abuse of E-Verify to prescreen job applicants or take action against employees whose work authorization cannot be immediately confirmed (the government’s databases include inaccurate and outdated information).
The Supreme Court’s review will address numerous concerns regarding the links between E-Verify and discrimination against authorized employees, particularly those who are perceived to be foreign.
Other organizations that support the Supreme Court’s review include Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California, La Raza Centro Legal, League of United Latin American Citizens, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. ♦