Posted by: Business Law EBooks | September 23, 2011

Ending Illegal Business Misclassification of Employees

Labor secretary, IRS commissioner sign memorandum of understanding to improve agencies’ coordination on employee misclassification compliance and education

11 state agency leaders also sign, agree to memorandums of understanding

WASHINGTON — Secretary  of Labor Hilda L. Solis today hosted a ceremony at U.S. Department of Labor  headquarters in Washington  to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Internal Revenue Service that  will improve departmental efforts to end the business practice of misclassifying  employees in order to avoid providing employment protections. In addition, labor  commissioners and other agency leaders representing seven states signed memorandums  of understanding with the department’s Wage and Hour Division and, in some cases, its Employee Benefits Security Administration,  Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Office of Federal Contract  Compliance Programs and Office of the Solicitor.  The signatory states are Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota,  Missouri, Utah  and Washington.  Secretary Solis also announced agreements for  the Wage and Hour Division to enter into memorandums of understanding with the  state labor agencies of Hawaii, Illinois and Montana, as  well as with New York’s  attorney general.

 

The  memorandums of understanding will enable the U.S. Department of Labor to share information and coordinate law enforcement with  the IRS and participating states in order to level the playing field for  law-abiding employers and ensure that employees receive the protections to  which they are entitled under federal and state law.

 

“We’re  here today to sign a series of agreements that together send a coordinated  message: We’re standing united to end the practice of misclassifying  employees,” said Secretary Solis. “We are taking important steps toward making  sure that the American dream is still available for all employees and  responsible employers alike.”

 

“This agreement takes the  partnership between the IRS and Department of Labor to a new level,” said IRS  Commissioner Doug Shulman.  “In this new  phase of our relationship, we will work together more efficiently to address worker misclassification  issues, and better  serve the needs of small businesses and employees.”

 

Business  models that attempt to change, obscure or eliminate the employment relationship  are not inherently illegal, unless they are used to evade compliance with  federal labor laws  —  for example, if an employee is misclassified as an  independent contractor and subsequently denied rights and benefits to which he or  she is entitled under the law. In addition, misclassification can create  economic pressure for law-abiding business owners.

 

These  memorandums of understanding arose as part of the department’s  Misclassification Initiative, which was launched under the auspices of Vice  President Biden’s Middle Class Task Force with the goal of preventing,  detecting and remedying employee misclassification.

 

The  mission of the U.S. Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the  welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working  conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure  work-related benefits and rights.

 

7/20/2011

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced
that 17 community banks across the country received a total of $214 million as
part of the next wave of funding provided through the Small Business Lending
Fund (SBLF). The SBLF, which was established as part of the Small Business Jobs
Act that President Obama signed into law, encourages community banks to increase
their lending to small businesses, helping those companies expand their
operations and create new jobs.
Including today’s announcement, 23 community banks have now received a
total of $337 million in SBLF funding. Additional SBLF funding announcements
will be made on a rolling basis in the weeks ahead.
“This funding will help break down barriers to credit for small businesses
so they can invest, expand, and create new jobs,” said Treasurer of the United
State Rosie Rios. “Continuing to unlock access to capital for Main Street
entrepreneurs is vital to strengthening economic growth and job creation in
local communities across our country.”
Small businesses play a critical role in the U.S. economy and are central
to growth and job creation. Small businesses employ roughly one-half of all
Americans and account for about 60 percent of gross job creation. But small
business owners faced disproportionate challenges in the aftermath of the
recession and credit crisis, including difficulty accessing capital.
The SBLF helps small businesses meet this challenge by providing capital to
community banks that hold under $10 billion in assets. The dividend rate a
community bank pays on SBLF funding is reduced as that bank increases its
lending to small businesses – providing a strong incentive for new lending to
small businesses so they can expand and create jobs. For more details on the SBLF program, please visit,
link
and link.
The SBLF is one part of the Obama Administration’s comprehensive agenda to
help small businesses access the capital they need to invest and hire. The State
Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI), which is also a key part of the Small
Business Jobs Act, allocates $1.5 billion to new and existing state programs
that will leverage private financing to spur $15 billion in new lending to small
businesses and small manufacturers.  A total of 54 states and territories
applied to take part in the SSBCI and 16 states have already had their
applications approved for $570 million in SSBCI funding.
The Obama Administration has also supported 17 direct tax breaks that
provide tax relief of more than $50 billion for small businesses. These tax
breaks were designed to support job creation and retention, entrepreneurship,
investment, and growth. The Administration has also worked with Congress to
extend and expand existing Small Business Administration loan programs that
helped put more than $42 billion in the hands of small businesses and deliver
other important benefits to help small businesses expand and hire.
The 17 banks that received SBLF funding as part of today’s announcement
include:
  • Florida Traditions Bank (Dade City, Florida) – $8.8
    million
  • Verus Acquisition Group, Inc (Fort Collins, Colorado) – $9.7 million
  • Founders Bancorp, (San Luis Obispo, California) – $4.2 million
  • SouthCity Bank, (Vestavia Hills, Alabama) – $5.2 million
  • Cache Valley Banking Company (Logan, Utah) – $11.7 million
  • Security Business Bancorp (San Diego, California) – $8.9 million
  • BOH Holdings, Inc. (Houston, Texas) – $23.9 million
  • BancIndependent, Incorporated (Sheffield, Alabama) – $30.0 million
  • First California Financial Group, Inc. (Westlake Village, California) –
    $25.0 million
  • Centric Financial Corporation (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) – $7.5 million
  • Eagle Bancorp, Inc. (Bethesda, Maryland) – $56.6 million
  • York Traditions Bank (York, Pennsylvania) – $5.1 million
  • Insight Bank (Columbus, Ohio) – $4.3 million
  • Freedom Bancshares, Inc. (Overland Park, Kansas) – $4.0 million
  • Phoenix Bancorp, Inc. (Minersville, Pennsylvania) – $3.5 million
  • Huron Valley State Bank (Milford, Michigan) – $2.6 million
  • Monument Bank (Doylestown, Pennsylvania) – $3.0 million​
Posted by: Business Law EBooks | January 25, 2011

Tax Help for Small Businesses and Self-Employed

The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center at http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html offers extensive resources and online tools designed to help small businesses and self-employed persons.

The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center on the IRS website offers the following resources:

  • Small business forms and publications
  • Employer Identification Number online application
  • Employment tax information – federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, FUTA and self-employment tax
  • Tax-related news that could affect your business
  • Small business educational events
  • IRS videos for small businesses
  • A-Z Index for Business – find information fast using the A-Z listing

The site provides important tax information available for all stages of owning a business. Whether you’re starting, operating or closing a business, visit http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/index.html for all your federal income tax information.

Other resources available on the IRS website include a virtual small business tax workshop, video and audio presentations, a guide to IRS audits, and a tax calendar designed for small business taxpayers.

The IRS Video Portal:

Tax Questions?  Learn about tax topics through video and audio presentations on the IRS Video Portal.  The video portal contains archived versions of live panel discussions, archived webinars, video clips, and audio archives of national phone forums.

IRS Audits Video Series:

“Your Guide to an IRS Audit” takes the viewer through the steps of an audit from notification to closing. The video series is composed of scenarios that demonstrate the stages of each type of audit: correspondence, office and field. The scenarios address issues that are common to audits of small businesses.

Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop:

The IRS Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop is an interactive resource to help small business owners learn about their federal tax rights and responsibilities. The workshop contains nine stand-alone lessons that can be selected and viewed in any sequence. The workshop is available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any computer. It can also be ordered on CD.

Tax Calendar for Small Business Taxpayers:

The Tax Calendar for Small Businesses and Self-Employed – Publication 1518 – is available online or as a printable PDF file. This 12-month calendar is filled with information on general business taxes, IRS and Social Security Administration customer assistance, electronic filing and paying options, retirement plans, business publications and forms, and common tax filing dates. Each page highlights different tax issues and tips that may be relevant to small-business owners, with room on each month to add notes, state tax dates or business appointments.   You can also download the tax events into your calendar or subscribe to the tax calendar events.  The calendar provides the small business owner with a ready resource for meeting their tax obligations.
Links:

2011 IRS Tax Calendar for Small Business and Self Employed  (PDF – English)  (PDF – Spanish)

New rules require insurers to notify consumers if their coverage has lower annual limit; Limits sale of mini-med plans

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today released new guidance that will give consumers more information about their health insurance plan. Under the new rules, health insurers offering “mini-med” plans must notify consumers in plain language that their plan offers extremely limited benefits and direct them to http://www.HealthCare.gov where they can get more information about other coverage options. HHS has also issued guidance restricting the sale of new mini-med plans except under very limited circumstances.

“The Affordable Care Act is giving consumers more control over their health care by providing them with information about their health insurance options”, said Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Now, we’re taking an unprecedented step to ensure consumers are informed when they purchase policies that offer limited coverage”.

The Affordable Care Act will end limited-benefit health insurance plans, sometimes called “mini-med” plans, in 2014 and provide Americans with affordable, high-quality coverage options. Unfortunately, today, mini-med plans are often the only type of private insurance available to some workers. In order to protect coverage for these workers, HHS has issued temporary waivers from rules restricting the level of annual limits to some group health plans and health insurance issuers. Waivers only last for one year and are only available if the plan certifies that a waiver is necessary to prevent either a large increase in premiums or a significant decrease in access to coverage.

Guidance issued today ensures that consumers in plans with low annual limits are notified of the quality of their health plan so that they can make informed decisions about whether mini-med coverage is right for them. The supplemental guidance requires health plans with waivers to tell consumers if their health care coverage is subject to an annual dollar limit lower than what is required under the law. Specifically, the notice must include the dollar amount of the annual limit along with a description of the plan benefits to which the limit applies. 

Additional guidance issued today also provides new rules on when mini-med plans can continue to be sold. Under limited circumstances, insurers that have obtained a waiver of the annual limit requirement can sell policies to new employers and individuals. 

The Affordable Care Act bans annual dollar limits beginning in 2014. Until then, annual limits are phased out under HHS regulations published in June 2010. For plan years starting between September 23, 2010 and September 22, 2011, plans may not limit annual coverage of essential health benefits such as hospital, physician and pharmacy benefits to less than $750,000. The restricted annual limit will be $1.25 million for plan years starting on or after September 23, 2011, and $2 million for plan years starting between September 23, 2012 and January 1, 2014.

More information about the new guidance can be found at http://www.healthcare.gov/news/factsheets/increasing_transparency.html. The guidance can be found at http://www.hhs.gov/ociio/regulations/annual_limit_waivers.html.

WASHINGTON – Seizure orders have been executed against 82 domain names of commercial websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works as part of Operation In Our Sites v. 2.0, Attorney General Eric Holder and Director John Morton of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today.

The coordinated federal law enforcement operation targeted online retailers of a diverse array of counterfeit goods, including sports equipment, shoes, handbags, athletic apparel and sunglasses as well as illegal copies of copyrighted DVD boxed sets, music and software.

During the course of the operation, federal law enforcement agents made undercover purchases from online retailers suspected of selling counterfeit goods. In many instances, the goods were shipped directly into the United States from suppliers in other countries using international express mail. If the goods were confirmed as counterfeit or otherwise illegal, seizure orders for the domain names of the websites that sold the goods were obtained from U.S. magistrate judges.  Individuals attempting to access the websites will now find a banner notifying them that the domain name of that website has been seized by federal authorities.

“By seizing these domain names, we have disrupted the sale of thousands of counterfeit items, while also cutting off funds to those willing to exploit the ingenuity of others for their own personal gain,” said Attorney General Holder. “Intellectual property crimes are not victimless. The theft of ideas and the sale of counterfeit goods threaten economic opportunities and financial stability, suppress innovation and destroy jobs. The Justice Department, with the help of our law enforcement partners, is changing the perception that these crimes are risk-free with enforcement actions like the one announced today.”

 

“The sale of counterfeit U.S. brands on the Internet steals the creative work of others, costs our economy jobs and revenue and can threaten the health and safety of American consumers,” said ICE Director John Morton. “The protection of intellectual property is a top priority for Homeland Security Investigations and the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. We are dedicated to protecting the jobs, the income and the tax revenue that disappear when counterfeit goods are trafficked.”

 

The operation builds upon Operation in Our Sites I, which was announced in June 2010. In that first action of this broader law enforcement initiative, authorities executed seizure warrants against nine domain names of websites offering pirated copies of first-run movies.

The nationwide operation was spearheaded by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) led by ICE’s Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in coordination with the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and nine U.S. Attorneys’ Offices including the Southern District of New York; District of Columbia; Middle District of Florida; District of Colorado; Southern District of Texas; Central District of California; Northern District of Ohio; District of New Jersey; and the Western District of Washington. The Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section also provided significant assistance.

The IPR Center is one of the U.S. government’s key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. The IPR Center is led by ICE’s HSI and includes partners from U.S. Customs and Border Protection; the FBI; the Department of Commerce; the Food and Drug Administration; the Postal Inspection Service; the General Services Administration, Office of the Inspector General; the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the Army Criminal Investigative Division’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit; the Consumer Product Safety Commission, INTERPOL; and the Government of Mexi co Tax Administrative Service. The IPR Center allows law enforcement and the private sector jointly to address the growing transnational problem of counterfeit products. The IPR Center coordinates outreach to U.S. rights holders and conducts domestic and international law enforcement as well as coordinates and directs anti-counterfeiting investigations. To learn more about the IPR Center, visit http://www.ice.gov/ .

The enforcement actions announced today are an example of the type of efforts being undertaken by the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force). Attorney General Eric Holder created the IP Task Force to combat the growing number of domestic and international intellectual property crimes, protect the health and safety of American consumers, and safeguard the nation’s economic security against those who seek to profit illegally from American creativity, innovation and hard work. The IP Task Force seeks to strengthen intellectual property rights protection through heightened criminal and civil enforcement, greater coordination among federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and increased focus on international enforcement efforts, including reinforcing relationships with key foreign partners and U.S. industry leaders. To learn more about the IP Task Force, go to www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce/.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants today launched a new, interactive website to help small businesses select a retirement plan suitable for their employees.

The website, “Choosing A Retirement Solution for Your Small Business” — available at http://www.choosingaretirementsolution.org — was jointly developed and is co-sponsored by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and the AICPA.

“As we observe National Save for Retirement Week, this new website is an important tool to help small businesses provide retirement benefits for their employees,” said EBSA Assistant Secretary Phyllis C. Borzi. “Having the right plan will give small business owners a way to save for their own retirement while also helping their employees achieve a more secure retirement.”

“The economic turmoil of the past two years has underscored the importance of sound retirement plans for employees of small businesses,” said Jim Metzler, AICPA’s vice president of small firm interests. “The Department of Labor and the CPA profession have created a powerful alliance to help a vital component of our capital-market system.”

The website introduces employers to a number of retirement plan options from a simpler individual retirement account-based plan to the more sophisticated automatic enrollment 401(k) plan. It describes the advantages and features of various retirement plans. Even businesses with as few as two employees will find options using this new online tool.

For additional resources on retirement plan options, visit the EBSA website at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/.

Posted by: Business Law EBooks | October 8, 2010

Treasury Announces State-by-State Funding Allocations to

 

State Small Business Credit Initiative Critical Component of
Small Business Jobs Act President Obama Signed into Law This Week;

All 50 States, DC, and the U.S. Territories Now Eligible for Funds to
Help Local Entrepreneurs Expand Their Businesses and Put More Americans Back to Work;

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced individual State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding allocations for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories, which will support $15 billion in new small business lending through innovative local programs that help entrepreneurs expand their businesses and create new jobs. These SSBCI funds are a critical component of the Small Business Jobs Act President Obama signed into law last week to help unlock credit and provide targeted tax cuts for small businesses. (A full listing of the state-by-state allocations announced today is included below.)

“Innovative local initiatives that support small business lending are under extraordinary pressure because of state budget difficulties,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. “These funds will provide vital support to successful state-level programs that help local entrepreneurs obtain the credit they need to put more Americans back to work. President Obama fought hard for the Small Business Jobs Act because it will help ensure that small businesses continue to strengthen our nation’s recovery and serve as critical engines for job creation.”

Under the SSBCI, states are offered the opportunity to apply for federal funds for programs that partner with private lenders to extend greater credit to small businesses. States are required to demonstrate a minimum “bang for the buck” of $10 in new private lending for every $1 in federal funding. Accordingly, the $1.5 billion funding commitment that the federal government will make for this program is expected to support $15 billion in additional private lending.
The SSBCI allows states to build upon existing, successful state-level small business lending programs, including examples such as collateral support programs, Capital Access Programs (CAPs), and loan guarantee programs.

o   Collateral Support Programs for Small Manufacturers: Collateral support programs help viable businesses that are struggling to get credit because the value of the collateral they hold has fallen, often due to the decline in commercial real estate values. These programs – which set aside funds to augment collateral the borrower already holds – provide banks greater confidence in extending credit to these borrowers, particularly in some of the communities hardest hit by the economic downturn.

o   Capital Access Programs (CAPs): CAPs, which are already up and running in over 20 states, are loan portfolio insurance programs in which states provide a matching contribution to bank loan loss reserves when lenders extend credit to qualified small businesses. These reserve enhancements allow lenders to expand credit to new borrowers at a time when many of these lenders might otherwise pull back. 

o   Loan Guarantee Programs:  Under loan guarantee programs, states provide partial guarantees on certain small business loans to give lenders greater confidence to extend credit. 

If a state does not have an existing small business lending program, officials can establish one in order to access this funding. States must provide plans for utilizing their funding allocations to Treasury for review and approval.

The amount of SSBCI funds a state is eligible to apply for is determined based upon formulas in the Small Business Jobs Act that take into account each state’s respective unemployment rate and decline in employment relative to other states.

 In addition to the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Small Business Jobs Act includes a number of important provisions to support small business job creation.  The Act includes eight new small business tax cuts that went into effect immediately upon becoming law last week; creates a $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund to help small and community banks provide new loans to small businesses; extends and expands existing Small Business Administration loan programs; and delivers other important benefits for small businesses.  For more information on the Small Business Jobs Act, please visit, link.

A full listing of State Small Business Credit Initiative allocations by state, as well as the amount of expected new lending that those allocations are expected to produce, are included below:

REPORTS

Posted by: Business Law EBooks | August 16, 2010

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The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury issued new regulations today, requiring new private health plans to cover evidence-based preventive services and eliminate cost sharing requirements for such services.  The new rules will help Americans gain easier access to services such as blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests; many cancer screenings; routine vaccinations; pre-natal care; and regular wellness visits for infants and children.

“Today, too many Americans do not get the high-quality preventive care they need to stay healthy, avoid or delay the onset of disease, lead productive lives, and reduce health care costs,” said HHS Secretary Sebelius.  “From the Recovery Act to the First Lady’s Let’s Move Campaign to the Affordable Care Act, the Administration is laying the foundation to help transform the health care system from a system that focuses on treating the sick to a system that focuses on keeping every American healthy.”

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, are responsible for 7 of 10 deaths among Americans each year and account for 75 percent of the nation’s health spending – and often are preventable.  Nationally, Americans use preventive services at about half the recommended rate.  An estimated 11 million children and 59 million adults have private insurance that does not adequately cover immunization, for instance.  Cost sharing, including deductibles, coinsurance, or copayments, has been found to reduce the likelihood that preventive services will be used. 

“Getting access to early care and screenings will go a long way in preventing chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and high-blood pressure,” said First Lady Michelle Obama.  “And good preventative care will also help tackle an issue that is particularly important to me as First Lady and as a mother – and that is the epidemic of childhood obesity in America today.  These are important tools, and now it’s up to us to use them.”

“One of the best ways to improve the quality of your life – and control health care costs – is to prevent illness in the first place,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “Focusing on prevention and early treatment makes more sense than trying to play catch-up with a potentially deadly disease. Quite simply, these preventative services will save lives.”

Under the regulations issued today, new health plans beginning on or after September 23, 2010, must cover preventive services that have strong scientific evidence of their health benefits, and these plans may no longer charge a patient a copayment, coinsurance or deductible for these services when they are delivered by a network provider.  Specifically, these recommendations include:

  • Evidence-based preventive services: The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of scientific experts, rates preventive services based on the strength of the scientific evidence documenting their benefits.  Preventive services with a “grade” of A or B, like breast and colon cancer screenings, screening for vitamin deficiencies during pregnancy, screenings for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and tobacco cessation counseling will be covered under these rules. 
  • Routine vaccines: Health plans will cover a set of standard vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices ranging from routine childhood immunizations to periodic tetanus shots for adults.
  • Prevention for children: Health plans will cover preventive care for children recommended under the Bright Futures guidelines, developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration with the American Academy of Pediatrics.  These guidelines provide pediatricians and other health care professionals with recommendations on the services they should provide to children from birth to age 21 to keep them healthy and improve their chances of becoming healthy adults.  The types of services that will be covered include regular pediatrician visits, vision and hearing screening, developmental assessments, immunizations, and screening and counseling to address obesity and help children maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Prevention for women: Health plans will cover preventive care provided to women under both the Task Force recommendations and new guidelines being developed by an independent group of experts, including doctors, nurses, and scientists, which are expected to be issued by August 1, 2011.

Today’s announcement builds on other provisions in the Affordable Care Act that support prevention, including the creation of a first-ever National Prevention, Health Promotion and public Health Council tasked with developing a national strategy and a Prevention and Public Health Fund to invest in prevention initiatives and, this year, policies to increase the number of primary care professionals to help ensure access to these services.  The Affordable Care Act also helps make it easier and more affordable for Americans enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid to access critical preventive screenings and services.

More information on the Affordable Care Act’s new rules on preventive care can be found at: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/about/provisions/services/index.html.

The regulations can be found at: http://www.healthcare.gov/center/regulations/prevention/regs.html.

###

 

WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice challenged the state of Arizona’s recently passed immigration law, S.B. 1070, in federal court today.  

In a brief filed in the District of Arizona, the Department said S.B. 1070 unconstitutionally interferes with the federal government’s authority to set and enforce immigration policy, explaining that “the Constitution and federal law do not permit the development of a patchwork of state and local immigration policies throughout the country.”  A patchwork of state and local policies would seriously disrupt federal immigration enforcement.  Having enacted its own immigration policy that conflicts with federal immigration law, Arizona “crossed a constitutional line.” 

The Department’s brief said that S.B. 1070 will place significant burdens on federal agencies, diverting their resources away from high-priority targets, such as aliens implicated in terrorism, drug smuggling, and gang activity, and those with criminal records.  The law’s mandates on Arizona law enforcement will also result in the harassment and detention of foreign visitors and legal immigrants, as well as U.S. citizens, who cannot readily prove their lawful status.

In declarations filed with the brief, Arizona law enforcement officials, including the Chiefs of Police of Phoenix and Tucson, said that S.B. 1070 will hamper their ability to effectively police their communities.  The chiefs said that victims of or witnesses to crimes would be less likely to contact or cooperate with law enforcement officials and that implementation of the law would require them to reassign officers from critical areas such as violent crimes, property crimes, and home invasions.

        The Department filed the suit after extensive consultation with Arizona officials, law enforcement officers and groups, and civil rights advocates.  The suit was filed on behalf of the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of State, which share responsibilities in administering federal immigration law.

“Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration, and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns,” Attorney General Holder said.  “But diverting federal resources away from dangerous aliens such as terrorism suspects and aliens with criminal records will impact the entire country’s safety.   Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility.  Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves.”

“With the strong support of state and local law enforcement, I vetoed several similar pieces of legislation as Governor of Arizona because they would have diverted critical law enforcement resources from the most serious threats to public safety and undermined the vital trust between local jurisdictions and the communities they serve,” Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.  “We are actively working with members of Congress from both parties to comprehensively reform our immigration system at the federal level because this challenge cannot be solved by a patchwork of inconsistent state laws, of which this is one.  While this bipartisan effort to reform our immigration system progresses, the Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce the laws on the books by enhancing border security and removing criminal aliens from this country.”

The Department has requested a preliminary injunction to enjoin enforcement of the law, arguing that the law’s operation will cause irreparable harm.

“Arizona impermissibly seeks to regulate immigration by creating an Arizona-specific immigration policy that is expressly designed to rival or supplant that of the federal government.  As such, Arizona’s immigration policy exceeds a state’s role with respect to aliens, interferes with the federal government’s balanced administration of the immigration laws, and critically undermines U.S. foreign policy objectives.  S.B. 1070 does not simply seek to provide legitimate support to the federal government’s immigration policy, but instead creates an unprecedented independent immigration scheme that exceeds constitutional boundaries,” the Department said in its brief.

Download the Supporting Documents:

Complaint Filed (PDF)
Arizona PI Brief (PDF)
Declaration of Daniel Ragsdale (PDF)
Declaration of David Aguilar (PDF)
Declaration of David Palmatier (PDF)
Declaration of Dominick Gentile (PDF)
Declaration of Mariko Silver (PDF)
Declaration of Michael Aytes (PDF)
Declaration of Roberto Villasenor (PDF)
Declaration of Jack Harris
(PDF)
Declaration of Tony Estrada (PDF)

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