Free Markets, Free People
SCOTUS supports state’s right to impose penalties on businesses who hire illegal immigrants
In a decision today, the Supreme Court basically upheld the portion of the Arizona state law that sanctions employers who hire illegal immigrants:
The 5-3 decision upholds the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007 and its so-called business death penalty for employers who are caught repeatedly hiring illegal immigrants. The state law also requires employers to check the federal E-Verify system before hiring new workers, a provision that was also upheld Thursday.
Thursday’s decision is a defeat for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, several civil-rights groups and the Obama administration, all of whom opposed the Arizona law and its sanctions on employers. They argued that federal law said states may not impose "civil or criminal sanctions" on employers.
This ruling boosts state’s arguments that they have at least some rights in terms of controlling illegal immigration (particularly when the federal government refuses to act). The three dissenters disagreed:
In dissent were Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. They said federal law prohibited states from imposing their own immigration-related rules on employers. Justice Elena Kagan sat out the case.
Of course federal law prohibits, or tries to prohibit such rules by states, but the court just changed that, didn’t they? It gives states back some of their rights and reduces the power of the federal government in an area where I think it’s power needed to be reduced, particularly since it appears the problem is out of control with the fed in charge.
I have mixed feelings about the so-called “death penalty” for businesses. I assume, or at least hope that there are appeals, etc. before it is finally imposed because such a penalty effects more than just the business owners in many cases.
By ruling that the states have the right to impose such a penalty though, illegal immigrants will find gaining employment much harder than it was before as there are few businesses who are going to figure that saving a little money hiring an illegal is worth the “death penalty” if caught.
Oh … and to save the drive by commenters the trouble – being against “illegal immigration”, note the term emphasized, does not mean one is against “immigration”, thankyouverymuch.