Tennessee AG: Illegal immigrant pay ban unconstitutional

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The state attorney general has issued a legal opinion that a legislative proposal to make it a crime for illegal immigrants to accept pay for work done in Tennessee is unconstitutional.

Attorney General Bob Cooper says in the opinion released Wednesday that the proposal would conflict with the Federal Labor Standards Act, which protects workers' rights to receive minimum and overtime wages.

The proposal sponsored by Sen. Joe Haynes and Rep. Mike Turner, both Nashville-area Democrats, has been awaiting floor votes in both chambers of the General Assembly.

The bill proposes requirements for illegal immigrants caught working in the state to forfeit earnings and property, face up to six months in jail and be fined up to $500.

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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