can an employer hire a person without work authorization for an unpaid internship position?
If by work authorization you mean without a legal right to work, you will have to ask an immigration attorney. Otherwise an unpaid extern, if properly treated as such, is not an employee and not subject to the laws that target employers.
However, the rules for externs are far more restrictive than many employers think, and many times someone hired as an extern is actually an employee in the eyes of the law. If that is the case in your situation then it would be prudent to have an experienced employment law attorney look at the situation.
Good luck to you.
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