Alabama’s Immigration law dissected

On June 9, 2011, Alabama enacted H 56, the most aggressive state law to date to control immigration. Federal judge has stayed the implementation of the law until at least late September. Most of the media discussion has been about non-work-related provisions of the law, for instance, police questioning, access to church-related services, and public education. Here, we look at the business –related provisions, which are excerpted below. The key provisions are:
Section 9 – Government contractors prohibited from hiring unlawful aliens
Section 11 – curb-side hiring prohibited
Section 13 – Harboring an unlawful alien
Section 15 prohibiting private sector hiring of unlawful aliens, at penalty of permanent revocation of licenses and permits
And
Section 26 – State of Alabama to provide E-Verify service to small employers
I have included below key passages in each of these sections.
“….the court shall direct the applicable governing bodies to forever suspend the business licenses and permits, if such exist, of the business entity or employer throughout the state….” (Section 15 (f)
Section 9 – Government contractors prohibited from hiring unlawful aliens
(a) As a condition for the award of any contract, grant, or incentive by the state, any political subdivision thereof, or any state-funded entity to a business entity or employer that employs one or more employees, the business entity or employer shall not knowingly employ, hire for employment, or continue to employ an unauthorized alien and shall attest to such, by sworn affidavit signed before a notary.
……Violations of Section 9 (a)


(e)(1) Upon the first violation of subsection (a) by any business entity or employer awarded a contract by the state, any political subdivision thereof, or any state-funded entity the business entity or employer shall be deemed in breach of contract and the state, political subdivision thereof, or state-funded entity may terminate the contract after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard. Upon application by the state entity, political subdivision thereof, or state-funded entity, the Attorney General may bring an action to suspend the business licenses and permits of the business entity or employer for a period not to exceed 60 days, according to the procedures described in Section 15. The court shall order the business entity or employer to file a signed, sworn affidavit with the local district attorney within three days after the order is issued by the court stating that the business entity or employer has terminated the employment of every unauthorized alien and the business entity or employer will not knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien in this state. Before a business license or permit that has been suspended under this subsection is reinstated, a legal representative of the business entity or employer shall submit to the court a signed, sworn affidavit stating that the business entity or employer is in compliance with the provisions of this act and a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding issued to the business entity or employer at the time of enrollment in E-Verify.
(2) Upon a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a) by any business entity or employer awarded a contract by the state, any political subdivision thereof, or any state-funded entity the business entity or employer shall be deemed in breach of contract and the state, any political subdivision thereof, or any state-funded entity shall terminate the contract after providing notice and an opportunity to be heard. Upon application by the state entity, political subdivision thereof, or state-funded entity, the Attorney General may bring an action to permanently revoke the business licenses and permits of the business entity or employer according to the procedures described in Section 15.
Section ii (a) prohibits unlawful aliens from applying for work
Section 11. (a) It is unlawful for a person who is an unauthorized alien to knowingly apply for work, solicit work in a public or private place, or perform work as an employee or independent contractor in this state.
Section 11 – curb-side hiring prohibited
(f) It is unlawful for an occupant of a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street, roadway, or highway to attempt to hire or hire and pick up passengers for work at a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic.
(g) It is unlawful for a person to enter a motor vehicle that is stopped on a street, roadway or highway in order to be hired by an occupant of the motor vehicle and to be transported to work at a different location if the motor vehicle blocks or impedes the normal movement of traffic.
(h) A person who is in violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500).
Section 13 – Harboring an unlawful alien
(a) It shall be unlawful for a person to do any of the following:
(1) Conceal, harbor, or shield or attempt to conceal, harbor, or shield or conspire to conceal, harbor, or shield an alien from detection in any place in this state, including any building or any means of transportation, if the person knows or recklessly disregards the fact that the alien has come to, has entered, or remains in the United States in violation of federal law.
Section 15 prohibiting private sector hiring of unlawful aliens, at penalty of permanent revocation of licenses and permits
(a) No business entity, employer, or public employer shall knowingly employ, hire for employment, or continue to employ an unauthorized alien to perform work within the State of Alabama. Knowingly employ, hire for employment, or continue to employ an unauthorized alien means the actions described in 8 U.S.C. § 1324a.
(b) Effective April 1, 2012, every business entity or employer in this state shall enroll in E-Verify and thereafter, according to the federal statutes and regulations governing E-Verify, shall verify the employment eligibility of the employee through E-Verify. A business entity or employer that uses E-Verify to verify the work authorization of an employee shall not be deemed to have violated this section with respect to the employment of that employee.
(c) On a finding of a first violation by a court of competent jurisdiction that a business entity or employer knowingly violated subsection (a), the court shall do all of the following:
(1) Order the business entity or employer to terminate the employment of every unauthorized alien.
(2) Subject the business entity or employer to a three-year probationary period throughout the state. During the probationary period, the business entity or employer shall file quarterly reports with the local district attorney of each new employee who is hired by the business entity or employer in the state.
(3) Order the business entity or employer to file a signed, sworn affidavit with the local district attorney within three days after the order is issued by the court stating that the business entity or employer has terminated the employment of every unauthorized alien and the business entity or employer will not knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien in this state.
(4) Direct the applicable state, county, or municipal governing bodies to suspend the business licenses and permits, if such exist, of the business entity or employer for a period not to exceed 10 business days specific to the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work.
(d)(1) Before a business license or permit that has been suspended under subsection (c) is reinstated, a legal representative of the business entity or employer shall submit to the court a signed, sworn affidavit stating that the business entity or employer is in compliance with the provisions of this act and a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding issued to the business entity or employer at the time of enrollment in E-Verify.
(2) The suspension of a business license or permit under subsection (c) shall terminate one business day after a legal representative of the business entity or employer submits a signed, sworn affidavit stating that the business entity or employer is in compliance with the provisions of this act to the court.
(e) For a second violation of subsection (a) by a business entity or employer, the court shall direct the applicable state, county, or municipal governing body to permanently revoke all business licenses and permits, if such exist, held by the business entity or employer specific to the business location where the unauthorized alien performed work. On receipt of the order, and notwithstanding any other law, the appropriate agencies shall immediately revoke the licenses and permits held by the business entity or employer.
(f) For a subsequent violation of subsection (a), the court shall direct the applicable governing bodies to forever suspend the business licenses and permits, if such exist, of the business entity or employer throughout the state.
…provisions of Section 15 must be enforced by public agencies:
(j) If any agency of the state or any political subdivision thereof fails to suspend the business licenses or permits, if such exist, as a result of a violation of this section, the agency shall be deemed to have violated subsection (a) of Section 5 and shall be subject to the penalties thereunder.
(k) In addition to the district attorneys of this state, the Attorney General shall also have authority to bring a civil complaint in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the requirements of this section.
(1) Any resident of this state may petition the Attorney General to bring an enforcement action against a specific business entity or employer by means of a written, signed petition. A valid petition shall include an allegation that describes the alleged violator or violators, as well as the action constituting the violation, and the date and location where the action occurred.
Section 17 – discriminatory to refuse to hire a lawful worker when the employer is employing an unlawful worker
(a) It shall be a discriminatory practice for a business entity or employer to fail to hire a job applicant who is a United States citizen or an alien who is authorized to work in the United States as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(h)(3) or discharge an employee working in Alabama who is a United States citizen or an alien who is authorized to work in the United States as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(h)(3) while retaining or hiring an employee who the business entity or employer knows, or reasonably should have known, is an unauthorized alien.
Section 26 – State of Alabama to provide E-Verify service to small employers
(a)(1) The Alabama Department of Homeland Security shall establish and maintain an E-Verify employer agent service for any business entity or employer in this state with 25 or fewer employees to use the E-Verify program to verify an employee’s employment eligibility on behalf of the business entity or employer. The Alabama Department of Homeland Security shall establish an E-Verify employer agent account with the United States Department of Homeland Security, shall enroll a participating business entity or employer in the E-Verify program on its behalf, and shall conform to all federal statutes and regulations governing E-Verify employer agents. The Alabama Department of Homeland Security shall not charge a fee to a participating business entity or employer for this service.

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