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New Jersey Lawmaker to Propose Illegal Immigration Measure

Thursday, February 21, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

A top New Jersey Democrat said Friday he will introduce legislation to penalize businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

The measure, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney, would require New Jersey businesses to verify the legal status of employees. Violations of the law would be penalized by a 10-day suspension of the business license for the first offense and permanent revocation of the license for the second.

If passed, New Jersey would become the second state in the nation to enact such legislation. According the National Conference of State Legislatures, Arizona mandates the federal work authorization database E-Verify, which was formerly known as Basic Pilot. The Arizona law was recently upheld by a federal judge who rejected claims that Arizona had assumed the federal government's role of regulating immigration. The court ruled that the state had the right to regulate business.

Sweeney's bill is expected to be introduced next week with the intent that it would take effect by year's end, if passed.

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