Supreme Court to Review Arizona Employer Sanctions Law

July 2, 2010

Featured

By Valeria Fernández
New America Media

PHOENIX, Ariz — The U.S. Supreme Court agreed on Monday to review a controversial Arizona statute aimed at imposing severe sanctions on employers who knowingly hire undocumented immigrant workers. This law has already set precedence for similar local legislation being passed in other states across the country.

    The Monday hearing was the first time that the highest tribunal in the country considered addressing the constitutionality of a state bill — the Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) — that deals with immigration issues.

    LAWA was signed by former Gov. Janet Napolitano, now secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and took effect on Jan.1, 2008. It was challenged by a coalition of business groups, but it didn’t get as much national attention as the passage in April of SB 1070, which will allow law enforcement to arrest and detain undocumented immigrants in Arizona.

    Paul Bender, a professor at the Arizona State University College of Law, expects the opinion issued by the U.S. Supreme Court on the employer sanctions law to be narrow in scope — and therefore would not be used to invalidate other laws like SB 1070.

    The court is expected to start hearing arguments at the end of this year, but the ruling may not come until 2011.

    While proponents argued that LAWA would discourage employers from hiring undocumented workers in Arizona, the law has been used instead to conduct highly publicized raids and arrests of employees who are charged with identity theft and are working with false documents.

    The latest worksite raid conducted by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office took place at a garbage collection business, which resulted in the arrest of seven alleged undocumented workers, two of them charged with identity theft.

    “A lot of critics and politicians seem to forget that, in these identity theft cases, we have real victims who have had some form of their identification stolen. They always throw up the argument that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. Ask those who are victims of identity theft about that,” Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a press release.

    A U.S. District Court and the San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of LAWA. But business groups and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) requested that the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse this decision.

    On Nov. 2, 2009, the Supreme Court asked the Obama administration to state its views on the law. In May this year, the Solicitor General office in the Department of Justice issued an opinion against LAWA, arguing that it is not a licensing law, but it is aimed at prohibiting the hiring of undocumented workers.

    LAWA, according to the Obama administration, is in conflict with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), and lacks key protection against discrimination.

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4 Responses to “Supreme Court to Review Arizona Employer Sanctions Law”

  1. Immigration News Says:

    I stand with Arizona and every other state the is for the “Rule of Law”. We American citizens are expected to live within the laws of the land. How can anyone say that foreign nationals that enter our country without authorization should be exempt from the authority of our laws? DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LIVE IN A LAWLESS COUNTRY LIKE MANY OF OUR NEIGHBORS TO THE SOUTH?!?

  2. JOHNATHAN SMITH Says:

    I’M WITH YOU 100% WE CAN NO LONGER TAKE THE INFLUX INTO THIS COUNTRY OF FOREIGN NATIONALS THAT DO NOT BELONG HERE. I CAN’T GET INTO AN EMERGENCY ROOM AT THE HOSPITAL LIKE I USED TO. IT TAKES ANYWHERE FROM 1 3 HOURS, BECAUSE OF ALL THE UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE. I CAN GET IN FASTER IF I CALL 911 !!!!!!! WE NEED TO TAKE CARE OF OUR US CITIZENS FIRST, THEN IF WE HAVE EXTRA JOBS AND EDUCATION BENIFITS AND MEDICAL….THEN WE CAN HELP. BUT REMEMBER….CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME.

  3. Gary Pierce Says:

    What a double standard Mexico is attempting to thrust on the legitimate citizens of the U.S. The whole concept of Mexico and the frigging bleeding hearts dictating U.S. and Arizona laws and policy is absurd. Far too long our borders have been a sieve to illegal immigration with the federal government completely irresponsible for enforcing the immigration laws, protecting our borders, and upholding their oath of office. The incompetence and neglect is mind-boggling. We now have Mexican and South American drug cartels killing American citizens on American soil. And when a State like Arizona says enough is enough and passes laws to try to stop the hemorrhage at our borders, the first reaction out of Washington is condemnation, saying the borders are the purview and responsibility of the federal government, not the states. Article IV Section 4 of the Constitution states (paraphrase) The United States shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the Legislature, or the Executive, against domestic violence. The Preamble itself states that (paraphrase) We the People establish the Constitution to establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our prosperity. The Constitution and the Preamble are directed to, and for the benefit of, the citizens of this country, not the citizens Mexico, Canada, Israel, or any other country and the internal affairs of this country regarding illegal immigration and what to do about is not open for debate of interference for outside our borders, particularly when such interference comes from those countries that directly benefit from their citizens crossing our borders. It is clear that the federal government has long failed its Constitutional obligations to protect the borders and lawful citizens of the U.S. and seem interested only in placating other countries. This political correctness B.S. is nonsense and anyone who is here illegally should not and cannot be protected to the same constitutional rights and protections that lawful citizens have other than the protection against violence and crime that any decent human being deserves. We cannot be the welfare state for Mexico or any other country. These illegals need to go back to where they came from and the federal government needs to do its constitutional duly and effectively protect our borders and citizens. If they are not up for the job, then we need to get someone in there who is.

  4. Lynn Says:

    I agree with the citizens
    I am sick of bending over backwards to be politically correct… Since when!
    Language boarders and Culture- Michael Savage.
    Look at what the Europeans had to do to get to America, Ellis Island. If they were ill they were not admitted. They learned our language we did not learn theirs. They brought trades to this country and did it legally. Today it is a free for all. Canada does not let you cross its boarder without a passport and a reason to be going there.

    American Citizens wake up, stand together as you vote for the law makers who rule over us, you pay their salary, not to mention the lavish vacations they take on your dime. Do you get paid like they do, can you afford a lavish vacation, are you exempt from Obama Care, they are.

    Speak English, it’s rude to speak in public the language of your origin. If you can’t or refuse to go home.
    Get rid of the BLEEDING LIBERALS they want everyone to have everything, but they don’t pay for it we do.

    Proud to be an American, ashamed of our government…

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