AUGUST 01, 2008
An Alabama county’s policy requiring vendors to pledge in writing that they do not knowingly employ illegal immigrants is being legally challenged for being unconstitutional and a judge could decide the law’s fate next week.
Located in the heart of the Tennessee Valley and sandwiched between Mississippi and Georgia, Alabama’s Madison County passed the law about ten months ago to assure that public dollars weren’t being used to pay illegal immigrants hired by companies fulfilling county contracts.
The anti-illegal alien pledge policy simply requires firms seeking county contracts to submit in writing that they do not knowingly employ illegal immigrants. A construction company, that recently lost a multi million-dollar contract because it didn’t abide by the policy, is suing the county claiming the policy contradicts federal law.
Attorneys for Wiregrass Construction, which was seeking a major paving deal, claim the pledge is unconstitutional and wades into immigration issues that are exclusive territory of the federal government. The attorneys assure that “every single requirement contradicts federal law.”
Similar policies meant to restrict employment of illegal immigrants have been passed by municipalities and states nationwide and some have been legally defeated while others have triumphed in court. Some haven’t met legal challenges and have been successfully enforced.
For instance, the executive of Anne Arundel County Maryland (John Leopold) issued an executive order last year requiring businesses hired by the county to sign a contract swearing they do not employ people living in the country illegally. This week the county threatened to cut ties with several existing contractors that employ illegal immigrants.
Arizona’s strict measure sanctioning businesses that hire illegal immigrants survived a messy court battle earlier this year and remains in full force. A federal judge upheld the law that prohibits businesses from hiring illegal immigrants and yanks the licenses of those that do. Business owners have threatened to appeal the decision.
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