Cash-Strapped Businesses Battle Immigration Crackdown

Some states now responding to employers' need for low-cost labor
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 6, 2008 6:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – As state and federal authorities crack down on illegal immigration, businesses are fighting back, the New York Times reports. Employers, stung by aggressive new measures that would revoke the licenses of those found to have hired illegals, say their very existence is threatened. A few states are responding to the fears, and revising or rejecting tougher immigration laws.

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Even if companies follow the rules, it's "inevitable" that those with large numbers of immigrant workers will let in some with false documents, said a lawyer. Businesses also face a catch-22 situation with privacy and anti-discrimination laws blocking them from checking on employees’ backgrounds. But Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has defended the immigration crackdown, arguing that immigration measures require “a stick as well as a carrot.” (Read more immigration stories.)

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