San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



In this Article, Ms. Davis and Messrs. Guttentag and Wernick analysis the legislative history of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) signed into law on November 6, 1998. Their analysis indicates that in preparing the Act, the Government Accounting Officer (GAO) adopted an unduly stringent standard, limiting the types of employment discrimination relevant to its inquiry, understating the level of discrimination reflected in the data and requiring quantification of the victims of any discrimination and evidence of a wide geographic or cross-industry spread of discrimination. After setting forth its analysis, the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York highlight eight recommendations. In conclusion, the legislative history and statutory analysis indicate that the phrase "widespread pattern of discrimination" in the Act was not intended to be a stringent or technical test, but rather one that would alert Congress to any new or increased discrimination resulting from sanctions.