Make it a Crime to Coerce Labor based on Worker's Immigration Status

AZ: Court Will Hear Employer Sanctions Law Challenge

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is entering the nation's charged debate over immigration, agreeing to hear a challenge from business and civil liberties groups to an Arizona law that cracks down on employers who hire undocumented workers.

The justices on Monday accepted an appeal from the Chamber of Commerce, American Civil Liberties Union and others to a lower court ruling that upheld Arizona's law.


States are increasingly protecting the victims of human trafficking and punishing employers and others who coerce immigrants to perform labor under threat. 

  • In 2006, Colorado enacted SB 06S-005, and in 2007, Virginia enacted a similar bill, HB 1921, to make it a felony to coerce labor by threatening to destroy documents relating to a person's immigration status or by threatening to notify law enforcement that a person is in violation of federal immigration law.  
  • In 2008, anti-trafficking laws were passed in Maine (LD 461), New Mexico (SB 71), Oklahoma (HB 1021), Utah (HB 339, amending SB 81), Tennessee (HB 71), and Missouri (comprehensive anti-immigrant bill HB 1549).

New PSN Report: The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed

Today, the Progressive States Network is releasing a new report: The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed: Positive Integration Policies by States Still Far Outweigh Punitive Policies Aimed at New Immigrants.   The Executive Summary is available online, as well as the full report in PDF and HTML format.

State Immigration Project: Policy Options for 2009

Download a copy of the reports in PDF format here.  View the HTML version of the report here.