Alabama law forbids employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants for any job within the state. The law also requires employers to validate the immigration status of employees by using the federal E-Verify program.
The federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and all subsequent amendments prohibit the hiring of illegal aliens. There is additional information and details.
Preemption of state laws. IRCA provisions "preempt any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions (other than through licensing and similar laws) upon those who employ, or recruit or refer for a fee for employment, unauthorized aliens" (8 USC Sec. 1324a(h)(2)). There is an exception for state licensing laws providing that a license can be revoked if an employer has violated IRCA. A number of state and local governments have passed provisions intended to outlaw or discourage the employment of illegal aliens in their jurisdictions. IRCA's preemption provision, however, is broadly worded and likely supersedes almost all local attempts to regulate the hiring of undocumented individuals. It is also likely that such state laws will be challenged in court by organizations that advocate for immigrants.
The Supreme Court, however, has ruled that the Arizona law, whose primary sanctions for employing unauthorized aliens are suspension and revocation of business licenses, was not preempted by IRCA (Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. Whiting, 131 S.Ct. 1968 (2011)). The Court also ruled that Arizona’s requirement that employers use E-Verify is not preempted because the provision setting up E-Verify contains no language circumscribing state action.