SCOTUS: Immigration Isn’t Just a Fed Problem

May 26th, 2011 at 3:48 pm | 61 Comments |

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Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld a 2007 Arizona law allowing authorities to revoke the business licenses of companies that hire illegal immigrants.  The ruling has activists on both sides of the immigration debate speculating about the future of SB 1070, the even more controversial Arizona statute that grants the state unprecedented authority to enforce federal immigration law.

Portions of SB 1070 have already been struck down in federal circuit court, though Governor Jan Brewer has said Arizona will appeal to the Supreme Court.

Despite similarities between the laws, Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian does not see Thursday’s decision as indicative of how the Supreme Court might decide SB 1070.

“I don’t think it tells us that SB 1070 will also be upheld.  It might, but I wouldn’t bet on that just based on this decision.  This was a much more clear-cut case,” Krikorian said.

Cecillia Wang of the ACLU agreed.  “This decision has nothing to do with SB 1070 or any other state and local immigration laws,” she told the Washington Post.

The foundation for the upheld law, Krikorian argued, lies in the text of the 1986 federal Immigration Reform and Control Act.  Under that law, states are forbidden to punish businesses for violating federal immigration statutes, except “through licensing and similar laws.”

And Arizona’s law did exactly that, as well as requiring businesses to use E-Verify, a federal database, to check the immigration status of new hires.  Krikorian argued, “This decision really was more based on the simple language of the statute.  The court is just acknowledging the leeway that already exists.  It isn’t creating new leeway for states.”

Nevertheless, Krikorian did allow that this decision could create momentum for Congress to pursue a national E-Verify mandate and increase pressure on President Obama to sign one, if it were passed. “The whole thing has approval from the Supreme Court now,” he said.

Krikorian also contends that even those resistant to the E-Verify system will likely push for congressional action, even if just to avoid a patchwork of state and local immigration statutes.  The electronic system has been criticized for being inaccurate, both wrongly clearing illegal workers and incorrectly accusing legal ones.  “In other words,” Krikorian says, “even the E-Verify skeptics might be interested in a national mandate just so they can keep control over the thing.”

If nothing else, Monday’s decision shows that the John Roberts-led court may not see immigration enforcement as an exclusively federal responsibility, even if they view SB 1070, itself, as overstepping constitutional boundaries.

“It does suggest that the majority of the court is not reflexively opposed to state involvement in immigration enforcement.  Whether that will actually translate into upholding the suspended portions of SB 1070 is still an open question, but it certainly doesn’t preclude that as a possibility,” Krikorian said.


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61 Comments so far ↓

  • think4yourself

    I agree that immigration is not just a Federal problem as the States bear much of the costs associated with border security (both from illegal immigration and from border crossing to move drugs into the US). That doesn’t mean that SB 1070 isn’t discriminatory.

  • LFC

    Now here’s a reasonable attempt at reducing the problem of illegal immigration. When businesses are punished for employing illegals, many of them will stop doing it. Those that are caught will pay the price. Fewer jobs for illegals = fewer illegals.

  • nhthinker

    Democrats have blocked increase use of E-Verify because they would rather err on having too many illegal immigrants than have one legal resident be hassled while their E-Verify records are messed up.

    I fully expect the Roberts court will decide that most, if not all, of SB 1070 as constitutional allowed.

    • think4yourself

      It will all boil down to Justice Kennedy. If he thinks that making someone provide ID papers only because they look Mexican rather than because they are doing something that appears to be suspicious is constitutional then SB 1070 stands.

      The law should have been written to say they are required to pull over anyone who looks Canadian. Maybe Frum gets thrown in the slammer if he forgot his ID in Sheriff Joe’s territory.

      • nhthinker

        Mexican is a canard.

        The law indicates that race can’t be part of the decision process.

        Several states are looking to follow AZ example.

  • busboy33

    Wow . . . the most completely misleading headline yet!

    Keep reaching for the stars, FF editors.

  • Brittanicus

    A VICTORY FOR ALL JOBLESS AMERICANS

    The American people finally have their interests recognized, by the Supreme Court of the land, asserting that Arizona’s federal mandatory E-Verify was upheld. Today it’s a major accomplishments for the American workers and a killing stroke to the US Chamber of Commerce and an attempt by the Department of Justice to protect illegal aliens in the workplace. This will strengthen ATTRITION BY ENFORCEMENT in every business and control penalties with businesses that don’t comply. It gives all states the right to implement and mandate the E-Verify program and open the door to hefty fines, loss of business licenses, assets and the risk of prison.

    Other states will now follow the example of Arizona and those who don’t, will be in the forefront of mass evacuations from these hard policing states to states as the Sanctuary State of California, Nevada and Utah. In a 5-3 victory the justices, repudiated the pro-illegal politicians, Governors, Mayors and lower ranks of leftist and Rino Republicans. Of course the Liberal judges didn’t go along with this decision, which is to be expected?

    ONE QUESTION THAT MUST BE ASKED, CAN ILLEGAL WORKERS USE A ITIN NUMBER INSTEAD OF A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER WITH OTHER DOCUMENTS? WILL THE ITIN NUMBER BE ACCEPTABLE AS E-VERIFY IDENTIFICATION, AS THE US GOVERNMENT KNOWS ILLEGAL ALIENS CAN USE THIS NUMBER AS THE IRS SUPPLIES IT?

    Nothing will do more, including the fence, to reverse future illegal immigration occupation and accelerate the departure of the current 20 million illegal populations than taking away the job attraction. This is a significant win as other States following Arizona’s lead, could have been crushed if the verdict had gone the alternative route. The American workers now have the impetus, to push the Congress and with the help of the monolithic Tea Party to mandate E-Verify nationwide. This will mean the propagation of E-Verify, with audits on all manner of business, including contractors and sub-contractors in every occupation. American labor must unite to uncover unscrupulous companies from large to small, who are using discount services. More and more patriotic Citizens and residents are joining other “Whistle Blowers” in contacting ICE and local police, of illegal aliens working in construction, manufacturing and thousands of other industries.

    Another issue that many states see as a major peril to our sovereignty rights is illegal aliens using the absentee ballot system to vote in elections. New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Texas are being investigated by state Attorney General commissions. Acorn is still a major player and although dissolved on paper, is still involved in the registration racket. There are occurrences in California and Nevada of manipulation of voter rolls.

    Can any American citizen or green card holder imagine what this country was like thirty years ago, before the illegal immigrant invasion? How many hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps even a Trillion in three decades? Fewer illegal aliens meant fewer taxes to support the huge support mechanism that we have today? An example would be California, was a less congested place, where there was room to breathe? Just think were those taxes to subsidize illegal immigrants today could be highly beneficial, if it was spent on our own population. Education, for instance is forced on us, by a federal court that we must pay the schooling for every child of illegal immigrants. Then we have health care that the courts say, that anybody who breaks the law to come here is entitled to treatment. Remember in1912 the Titanic sunk, but not because of the iceberg above the Atlantic Ocean, but what was ominously concealed beneath the surface?

    This is the same story with illegal immigration and the failure to place, 5000 “boots on ground. “of the each border States Nation Guardsman permanently? I was astounded to read a “Wikileaks” secret document, that the border is intentionally left open for the clandestine arrangement to merge Canada, Mexico and the United States. You have a chance to read these reports at Wikileaks website, under the headline, “Viewing cable 05OTTAWA268, PLACING A NEW NORTH AMERICAN INITIATIVE.” This is a serious situation concocted by the Canadian Paul CELLUCCI and American Ambassador, which seems to never have been observed by Congress.

    From both parties are hundreds of thousands, tens of millions finding that the TEA PARTY, doesn’t discriminate against race or religion. That these people are delusion by the Liberals, democrats and Republicans, that are not doing enough to stop the in-sourcing of illegal immigrants or outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries. Cafta and Nafta was a massive mistake as the whole “FREE TRADE AGEEMENTS” have been detrimental to our society. We are importing everything from a nail file to steel, at far below the cost of doing business here? Once a lender of billions of dollars, we must now go cap in hand to Communist China, that owns our debts. We are the greatest market in the world, but our commerce is undercut by artificially engineering their currencies. The only winners in this commercial game are the importers of inferior products, who are profiting.

    As Billionaire Donald Trump we should place a 25 % import tax on everything coming to our country, and begin to rebuild our manufacturing industries again. An intentional failure of every administration to secure our borders or enact laws that would obstruct foreign national at the border, or a tracking system to deport visa overstays. E-Verify will eradicate this problem of the issuance of a Secure Communities law, to enforce that every police department fingerprint and send those scans to ICE. If you want less government, a fair Tax system, individual responsibility and the return of federal excessive power to the states, join the Tea Party in your local area. Tell your Federal, State or local lawmaker, unless they join the TEA PARTY, they will be out of office in 2012.

    Contact them at Senate—202-224–3121/ House—202-225–3121.

    NO Copyright. Copy & Paste! Distribute Freely

    • busboy33

      Since the primary opponents of the Law, the ones who pushed the appeal, were businesses concerned that this will cause them to go out of business which would cost alot of people their jobs (including all the legal citizens), this is a remarkably blind thing to say.

      But then again, given that you posted this, I assume you won’t bother to think about this for one thin second.

  • ottovbvs

    Great. This should destroy a load of businesses that rely on immigrant labor. It’s going to make the nativist wing of the GOP very popular with the business wing of the party. The Chamber of Commerce was a defeated party to this suit so you know how they feel about teaparty efforts to destroy businesses and jobs. I hope nativists like NHT wishes comes true and then even fewer people will want anything to do with Arizona. Beware of unintended consequences.

    • Churl

      Odd, business with dangerous working conditions can exist while obeying health and safety laws and OSHA regulations, those that may emit pollutants somehow exist with the EPA still in business, but businesses that rely on immigrant labor will fold if they are required to eschew hiring illegal immigrants.

      There are immigrants, otto, and there are illegal immigrants. These are two different groups of people. Try saying “legal, illegal” for a couple of hours as a sort of mantra and maybe the distinction will sink in.

      • ottovbvs

        “but businesses that rely on immigrant labor will fold if they are required to eschew hiring illegal immigrants.”

        They sure will Churl which I guess is why the Chamber of Commerce were a complainant in the suit. They at least understand this was going to do harm to business even it you don’t. But at least we now know fostering business is NOT your priority.

        • Churl

          Otto, remember, “legal, illegal, legal, illegal”. The distinction is important. You, as a captain of industry, should know that a business model dependent on illegal labor is not sound even if a business model that for some reason requires legal immigrant labor, is.

        • ottovbvs

          “should know that a business model dependent on illegal labor is not sound…even if a business model that for some reason requires legal immigrant labor, is.”

          I’m used to you saying stupid and self contradictory things Churl but this is a keeper even for you. As someone with some knowledge of business I can assure you it’s entirely sound because the reality is that vast tracts of US business are reliant on illegals. Why else do you think the Chamber involved itself or do you really think they are as irrational as you are? Politically of course it does a huge favor for the Democrats on two counts
          1) It further strengthens hispanic loyalty to the Democrats
          2)It drives a wedge into the fault line in the GOP between business and the nativists.

          So enjoy your victory, it’s going to prove entirely pyrrhic.

    • kevin47

      As someone with some knowledge of business I can assure you it’s entirely sound because the reality is that vast tracts of US business are reliant on illegals.

      Yep, and good riddance to ‘em.

      [q]Why else do you think the Chamber involved itself or do you really think they are as irrational as you are?
      [/q]

      No reason. The chamber favors slave labor. They are a special interest, whose mission is narrowly defined. Special interests are paid not to take into account the moral implications of their positions.

      [q]Politically of course it does a huge favor for the Democrats on two counts
      1) It further strengthens hispanic loyalty to the Democrats[/q]

      I don’t regard further strengthening as a “huge” favor. What you are saying is that those who vote for Democrats are going to do so with somewhat more vigor. Eh, I’ll take that chance.

      2)It drives a wedge into the fault line in the GOP between business and the nativists.

      Conversely, the Democrats have squandered the “let us alone” types. At this point, if the Dems want to woo big business with promises of slave labor, in addition to the tax dollars already promised, I think Republicans would do well to locate greener pastures.

      That said, the fault line between business and nativists doesn’t really exist. Very few Republicans look to chamber endorsements when voting. For the most part, we are glad the Chambers exist, but not beholden to them in any way.

  • nhthinker

    “I hope nativists like NHT wishes comes true”

    It seems that otto’s definition of nativist is anyone that believes in enforcing laws according to constitutionally legal state and national laws.

    E-Verify is a good program advocated by Republicans and ridiculed by Democrats.

    • ottovbvs

      It seems that otto’s definition of nativist is anyone that believes in enforcing laws according to constitutionally legal state and national laws.

      No I’m just a realist and not a self delusionist. Brewer and the Republican nuts in AZ have just about destroyed the convention and tourist business in the state so this is just another nail in the coffin.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    And nhthinker LIES again. “Democrats have blocked increase use of E-Verify” It is like whenever I see this clown’s name I know there will be at least one complete and total falsehood. Back in 2009 Obama pushed to revive E-verify, however in direct contradiction to the lies of notthinker:
    Angelo I. Amador, a spokesman for the Chamber, said business groups will continue to fight the contractor requirement in federal court, arguing that Congress never intended to make participation in the worker verification program mandatory

    Wow, according to notthinker the Chamber of Commerce is run by liberals.

    In fact, just a few days ago this is what the Obama administration announced:
    The Obama administration is about to add more personal information to E-Verify, an immigration enforcement tool that is vulnerable to fake, stolen or borrowed documents.

    The administration has said that it will add driver’s license data from the state of Mississippi to E-Verify as early as June 8. The agency will test whether using the data can help E-Verify better identify people working illegally in the U.S. E-Verify checks workers’ information against Social Security and immigration records. E-Verify was not designed to check whether a document with valid information belongs to the person who presented it

    Hey Notthinker, can you at least once know what you are talking about instead of saying what you imagine to be true?

    • valkayec

      Thank you, Frumple. You stated what I was going to say – and better – before I had a chance to say it myself. If I recall during the last immigration debate a year or so ago, it was the GOP that pooh-poohed the E-Verify system while Dems were pushing to increase or expand it.

  • ottovbvs

    It is like whenever I see this clown’s name I know there will be at least one complete and total falsehood.

    The guy is a pathological liar. It doesn’t matter how many times his lies are exploded he comes back with more.

  • valkayec

    Today’s decision by the SCOTUS was perfectly reasonable, given the federal law. Instead of punishing an entire ethnic community for being ethnic, the law punishes the businesses that violate the law. SB 1070, on the other hand, could be argued as intrusive and invasive as well as being prejudicial. It could potentially be argued as having the effect of causing unreasonable search, of providing too sufficient (broad or liberal) cause to stop, of being broadly discriminatory towards one population or ethnicity, or causing harassment towards legal citizens.

    While its hard to say what the current very Conservative SCOTUS will rule on SB 1070, it’s likely that if the Court rules in favor of the AZ law significant portions of the Civil Rights laws would be effectively overturned.

    In my opinion, that occurrence would not be good for the US, especially as this nation pushes democracy and freedom around the world. Remember the stories in Pravda during the Civil Rights bus rides in Alabama and Mississippi? They made for great propaganda against the US. Just a few pictures alone told the story. What will be the consequences if the similar potentially stories of discrimination and prejudice, resulting from a SCOTUS approval of this law, are broadcast worldwide? Moreover, will the US relationship with Mexico be negatively affected so as to reduce the cooperation between the two countries to combat the deadly drug trade? How will relationships with other Hispanic Latin & South American nations be affected, if they view the US as discriminatory towards their populations?

    Every nation around the world understands that it has the right to control immigration, but the world will not understand the US punishing – or abusing civil rights and liberties – an entire ethnic community for being ethnic. For them, the Shining Hill may look more like Darkness Before Dawn, thus confirming their darker suspicions of the US.

  • nhthinker

    It’s Otto, valkayec and Frumples that are delusional and ignore the evidence…

    http://www.numbersusa.com/content/nusablog/beckr/july-8-2009/e-verify-victory-7-senators-switch-sides-march-defeat.html
    E-VERIFY VICTORY — 8 Senators Switch Sides Since March Defeat

    By Roy Beck, Wednesday, July 8, 2009, 1:05 PM EDT

    After several defeated efforts, Sen. Sessions (R-Ala.) finally won over a majority of his colleagues this morning. They agreed with him that illegal aliens should not get jobs created with federal tax dollars.

    In March, the Sessions E-Verify amendment was killed by tabling in a 50-47 vote.

    But this morning, the tabling motion failed 44-53. (The amendment then passed on voice vote.)

    12 Democrats and 1 Independent defied Party leadership and voted with all 40 Republicans to:

    permanently authorize E-Verify, so the pro-amnesty forces can’t constantly threaten to kill it if they don’t get their way
    require all federal contractors to use E-Verify so returning veterans and other unemployed Americans will get jobs created with federal tax money.

    8 SENATORS WHO SWITCHED TO THE GOOD SIDE TODAY

    E-Verify won today because these Senators — who voted to kill the E-Verify mandate in March — switched today and voted for using E-Verify to keep illegal aliens out of federal contractor jobs.

    Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)
    Bryon Dorgan (D-N.D.)
    Kay Hagan (D-N.C.)
    Mary Landrieu (D-La.)
    Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
    Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)
    Mark Pryor (D-Ark.)
    John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

    All of you who live in those states — especially North Dakota and Arkansas — take a bow. Thanks for all you have done to help these Senators see the error of their March vote.

    5 OTHER DEMOCRATS WHO VOTED TO HIRE AMERICANS

    We have to give special thanks to the Democrats who stood with us and unemployed Americans today, because they had to defy their Party leadership to do it.

    These Democrats voted for mandating E-Verify both today and back in March:

    Max Baucus (D-Mont.)
    Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
    Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)
    Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)
    John Tester (D-Mont.)

    • ottovbvs

      It’s Otto, valkayec and Frumples

      He was talking about the administration blockhead…viz.

      Back in 2009 Obama pushed to revive E-verify,

      The trouble is you dopes can’t see beyond the end of your nose. This decision is a godsend to the democrats but you’re too dumb to see it. But that’s not surprising you’ve been telling us for weeks what a vote winner Ryan’s budget was.

      • nhthinker

        “And nhthinker LIES again. “Democrats have blocked increase use of E-Verify””
        “He was talking about the administration blockhead…viz.”

        It was the Senate Democrats that were blocking the mandatory federal use of E-Verify.

        There was no lie on my part. You guys are just fools and propagandists and make stuff up like:
        “He was talking about the administration”… [when he called you a liar for telling the truth about Democrats blocking E-Verify].

        BTW, Obama did not get religion on E-Verify under AFTER the SENATE finally broke through the logjam of Democrats held in line by their liberal leadership. Schumer’s plans were to scrap E-Verify and spend years trying to come up with a foolproof replacement.

  • Churl

    Otto, in the mode of a classicist, “So enjoy your victory, it’s going to prove entirely pyrrhic.”

    You say that basing a business on illegal immigrant labor is a sound principle because many businesses do it, and you may be right. One could offer the same rationale for slavery.

    In the end, I’m not sure this decision matters in electoral politics. Given that Hispanics are already a protected minority with the usufructs and hereditaments thereunto appurtaining, they will gravitate to the Democrats and there is nothing the Republicans can do about it.

    So what the heck; let’s try enforcing the laws for once.

  • ottovbvs

    One could offer the same rationale for slavery.

    Ever ready with a reductio ad absurdum Churl (Classical apologies) although in fact slavery was a not unsound business model.

    In the end, I’m not sure this decision matters in electoral politics.

    Another self contradictory statement given the long term electoral benefits to the Democrats. And I am right, there’s around 8 million adult illegals in the country wtf do you think they are all doing? This is going to do a lot of harm to businesses in states that follow Arizona’s lead and will piss off a lot of the Republican business community. In fact despite the bluster from minor politicos within states I suspect there won’t be that many because he who pays the piper etc.

    • Churl

      Otto, you seem misunderstood my point which is simply this: Hispanics will vote Democrat irrespective of what the Republicans do. Hispanics’ protected minority status guarantees this and nothing can be done about it. That is why I say that this decision doesn’t matter much in electoral politics.

      I do use reductio ad absurdum; one might also call it “taking a line of thinking to its logical conclusion.”

      You seem to be suddenly solicitous for Republican businessmen, which I would not have expected from your ideas as I had inferred from your previous comments.

      “This is going to do a lot of harm to businesses in states that follow Arizona’s lead and will piss off a lot of the Republican business community.”

      Well, if business owners of any political stripe really need workers sneaked illegally across the border to stay in operation, then let them fail. There is too much opportunity to exploit illegals because of their status (OSHA reports, HAZMAT abuse, cheating on wages….) to allow this to continue.

      • ottovbvs

        You seem to be suddenly solicitous for Republican businessmen

        Probably because as you pointed out I was one for a long time. So let them fail is your attitude. You’re just confirming again you don’t give a damn about business or jobs. The law not infrequently is an ass. When you pass laws that defy the gravity of economics or human nature they invariably fail and produce lots of unintended consequences and collateral damage. No doubt you think the war on drugs and prohibition have been huge successes. These anti immigrant laws are all going to fail ultimately but in the process they will do lots of damage to individuals and companies. Ultimately this damage is going to be politically beneficial to the democrats. Get the blinders off.

        “I do use reductio ad absurdum; one might also call it “taking a line of thinking to its logical conclusion.”

        No… a reductio ad absurdum is a fallacy. Do I really have to provide a definition for someone who uses $25 dollar words like this:

        “a protected minority with the usufructs and hereditaments thereunto appurtaining”

        • Churl

          As far as I know, protecting businesses by not enforcing laws is not what the rule of law is all about.

  • PatrickQuint

    What mystifies me about how the lines are drawn in this debate is how Democrats have aligned themselves squarely against organized labor. Undocumented migrants (I’ll use their term for themselves) are effectively strikebreakers, preventing the implementation of workers rights in the industries involved.

    If we cut off the supply of strikebreakers, then labor in the industries now dominated by illegal immigrants will have a chance to organize and we could see an increase in jobs that lead to a middle-class life. I don’t see why organizing labor here would be any more economically detrimental than previous examples of workers organizing for better pay and working conditions. It’s not as if the economy tanked after the worker’s rights movement. This is because the economy of the modern social democratic state requires a consumer base that has money, and that means a middle class of workers paid well for their labor.

    Being something of a fan of free-market pricing, I think that people should be able to bargain fairly for the price of goods and services. This includes the price of labor. Undocumented migrants are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to these negotiations, distorting the labor market. That’s bad.

    Why in God’s name do I have to argue for workers rights… to liberals? Aren’t liberals supposed to be all over this whole union thing? I also had the impression that liberals were fans of the minimum wage, and benefits, and sick days, and maternity leave.

    …Or are those things just too good for Mexicans?

    SB 1070 is no more discriminatory than Arizona’s laws against, say, murder. If the police have reasonable suspicion that a person has committed murder, than they can arrest the suspect. If proof of the suspect’s innocence is immediately apparent, then the police cannot hold the suspect (and probably wouldn’t want to anyway).

    If the Arizona police have reasonable suspicion that a person is an illegal immigrant, than under SB 1070 they can arrest the suspect. If proof of innocence is immediately apparent (documentation), then the police cannot go through with the arrest. The clause saying that having your papers on hand settles the matter seems perfectly reasonable to me.

    By the way, state law enforcement can enforce federal law, so long as state law allows it. United States v. Vasquez-Alvarez, 176 F.3rd 1294:
    “9 The United States concedes that § 1252c did not authorize Pratt to arrest Vasquez but argues that state law did so independently. In particular, the United States observes this court has long held that state and local law enforcement officers are empowered to arrest for violations of federal law, as long as such arrest is authorized by state law. See Davida v. United States, 422 F.2d 528, 530 (10th Cir.1970); cf. United States v. Janik, 723 F.2d 537, 548 (7th Cir.1983) (“infer[ring, as a matter of state law] that Illinois officers have implicit authority to make federal arrests”); United States v. Swarovski, 557 F.2d 40, 43-49 (2d Cir.1977) (noting generally that there is no overarching federal impediment to arrests by state officers for violations of federal law). In fact, this court has held that state law-enforcement officers have the general authority to investigate and make arrests for violations of federal immigration laws. See United States v. Salinas-Calderon, 728 F.2d 1298, 1301-02 & n. 3 (10th Cir.1984); see also Gonzales v. City of Peoria, 722 F.2d 468, 477 (9th Cir.1983). Furthermore, Vasquez concedes that Oklahoma law allows local law-enforcement officials to make arrests for violations of federal law, including immigration laws. See generally 11 Okla. Op. Att’y Gen. 345, 454 Mich. 861, 558 N.W.2d 731, 1997 WL 37653 (1997) (noting that “any peace officer within the State who observes an offense against the law of the United States committed within his presence has the present ability to arrest and detain an individual for that violation”). According to the United States, the passage of § 1252c did not affect this preexisting authority on the part of state and local officers.”

    • Churl

      “What mystifies me about how the lines are drawn in this debate is how Democrats have aligned themselves squarely against organized labor.”

      This is not mysterious. Democrats want to stay in power, full stop. The unions will support Democrats no matter what, leaving the party risk free to pander to yet another interest group.

      • valkayec

        Wrong to both of you. First of all on the issue of unions, I believe most Democrats believe people have the right to organize – to freely assemble – and seek to address their demands against a more powerful organization. That’s a human right. Or should be. Yes, illegal immigrants can and do distort labor markets which is in part why we have laws controlling immigration. Nevertheless, there aren’t many in the general labor market who want to work as janitors, field laborers, maids, garden laborers, and in canneries or meat packing houses. So how much employment market distortion really exists?

        Moreover, in the case of illegal workers, they don’t have the same rights legally and should not have, but they are human beings and should be treated with respect and dignity. That’s a religious imperative. Or should be.

        The conundrum is that many of the same ethnic community are legal, born in this country, and living honorable lives. Yet, because of their ethnicity they too are singled out potentially for harassment or discriminatory actions, requiring them like no others in the community to carry with themselves at all times their birth certificates or other such credible documentation. Why shouldn’t a Canadian or a German be subject to the same law? Where is the equitable nature of the law?

        Oh, and Churl, Dems want to stay in power just as much as Republicans. Your statement is specious and reflects a gratuitous partisanship.

      • ottovbvs

        This is not mysterious. Democrats want to stay in power, full stop.

        Of course the Republicans have no such interest. The pursuit of power is the goal of politics. You’re very naive at times Churl

  • drdredel

    I love how all these bigots whip out their violins and start serenading the poor lowly slave worker, being taken advantage of by the mean ole’ MAN. How do they feel about Wal-Mart using comparable slave laborers across the sea to manufacture cheap crap?… “who gives a flying crap about those brown fucks?!”

    Why not just admit you don’t like foreigners. We all see you as the asshole bigots that you are, but if you admitted it, at least we’d give you credit as being honest! As it is, you’re not just asshole bigots, but lying hypocrites as well.

    I guess if you’re just striving to be the worst of the worst, you’re well on your way.

    If you think America is going to dig itself out of the hole it’s in by picking oranges and cleaning Motel 6 toilets, you are sorely mistaken. Stop worrying about the Mexicans stealing jobs no one wants and start worrying that soon your illiterate, evolution denying children will be unable to compete for engineering work against their Indian and Chinese and Russian competitors. THAT’S where the future lies.

    It’s called prioritizing… look it up!

  • drdredel

    @ PatrickQuint

    If the term “your papers please!” doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, then you are spineless (or massively ignorant). In either event, your opinion is worthless.

  • nhthinker

    The AZ law in question is (in drdredel’s terms) anti-slave owner.

    Even the liberalness of drdredel has to be anti-slave owner, doesn’t it?

    Unless of course it’s really about getting more liberal votes even if it means state governments don’t get to revoke the business licenses of “slave owners”.

  • ottovbvs

    Our Republican friends can bloviate about petty legalisms all day because it’s not going to change the basic reality. I’m going to say this again because it bears repeating.
    The law not infrequently is an ass. When you pass laws that defy the gravity of economics or human nature they invariably fail and produce lots of unintended consequences and collateral damage. The war on drugs and prohibition haven’t exactly been huge successes. These anti immigrant laws are all going to fail ultimately but in the process they will do lots of damage to individuals and companies. We already have evidence of the damage they’ve done to the tourist and convention industries in Arizona and the same process will work its way out in industries that rely on illegals that are located in states that adopt this approach. Ultimately this damage is going to be politically beneficial to the democrat’s standing in both in the business and immigrant communities. In short it’s going to turn into another Republican own goal and all the Republicans here are doing high fives. Go figure.

    • LFC

      When you pass laws that defy the gravity of economics or human nature they invariably fail and produce lots of unintended consequences and collateral damage. The war on drugs and prohibition haven’t exactly been huge successes.

      Gotta’ disagree with your comparison, Otto. The two examples you cite are personal activities that are performed by large swaths of the general population. Not allowing companies to employ illegals is a very narrow and targeted law.

      Will some business owners be unable to function without illegal labor? Yep. Will large numbers of American citizens ignore the law and hire illegals? No. This law is targeted and if it’s actually prosecuted will reduce illegal immigration into this country.

      As to businesses that depend on illegals, this might be a could time to create a changeover period. Give ‘em 5 years to clean up or get shut down. Start with warnings and each year have ever increasing fines. If a company can’t go from depending upon illegal workers to being fully compliant with law, while all the other companies are being forced to do that at the same time, then they don’t have a viable legal business model under American law. If that’s the case, they shouldn’t be in business.

      • ottovbvs

        The two examples you cite are personal activities that are performed by large swaths of the general population.

        Large swathes of the general population are consuming cocaine? There are an estimated 12 million users of drugs (4% of population)and 80% of this is marijuana. Users of drugs are hardly vast swathes of the population.

        Not allowing companies to employ illegals is a very narrow and targeted law.

        You must be joking, but I guess we’ll see whose right. There are an estimated 12 million illegals in the US two thirds of them working adults. Large swathes of US industry are dependant on these folks particularly in agriculture but in other industries too. Just wait until state governments start putting large numbers of business and domestic employers on trial for employing illegals. This will cause mayhem.

        • LFC

          Large swathes of the general population are consuming cocaine? There are an estimated 12 million users of drugs but 80% of this is marijuana. Users of hard drugs is well under 3 million which hardly vast swathes of the population.

          Use or have used? From a Time Magazine article, “researchers found that 42% of people surveyed in the U.S. had tried marijuana at least once, and 16% had tried cocaine.” 16% of 300 million is over 50 million people. That’s a lot. Plus picking one single drug like cocaine is not really a good approach since the “drug de jour” changes continually. You really need to cite drug use across the entire spectrum of illegals.

          Drug use drops with age. The fact is that those 3 million current users aren’t a static group. Punative action on today’s 20 year old has little cumulative effect because in 10-15 years the majority of them will no longer be using anyway. New 20 year old users will appear and will tend to disappear with age as well.

          In contrast, a business employing illegals today will likely be doing so in 10, 20, or 30 years. That’s a big difference from a group whose members change continually with age. It’s also the reason why this type of law can work. There is a long-term downside to business owners.

          Put it in perspective of environmental laws. As long as the fine can be considered a cost of doing business, it’s not effective. (I saw this with my own eyes when I worked in the pollution monitoring biz. I watched a well known company move like lightning to clean up their act when the fine they paid quarterly as a cost of doing business was suddenly increased by an order of magnitude.) When we got tougher laws and penalties, the amount of pollution dropped in this country considerably. Yes, we have a long to go, but the amount of pollution being spewed today is nothing like it was 50 years ago. (Of course the Republicans want to set us back 50 years as part of their “pro business” stance, but that’s another story.)

          Just wait until state governments start putting large numbers of business and domestic employers on trial for employing illegals. This will cause mayhem.

          I agree with you 100% that a cold turkey approach will cause mayhem, hence my suggestion for phased in penalties. Give business 5 (or 6 or 7) years to become legal. Start with warnings and then have increasing fines. After the grace period is up, land on the remaining law breakers with everything we’ve got. I don’t think that’s a very radical approach. That’s a gradual path to legality.

          On the existing illegal immigrant side, I agree with the suggestions of guest worker programs and for a path to citizenship for many. I particularly agree on citizenship for children who have lived here virtually all their lives and who have moved forward with becoming part of our nation through education and work. But acceptance of the current illegal situation, with people who can be abused and disposed of by employers, is hardly the best answer.

        • ottovbvs

          Use or have used? From a Time Magazine article, “researchers found that 42% of people surveyed in the U.S. had tried marijuana at least once, and 16% had tried cocaine.” 16% of 300 million is over 50 million people. That’s a lot.

          This is a stretch. I’m sure most college kids have puffed weed at one time or another. This is not a market. The regular consumers of drugs are about 12 million or 4% of the country.

  • midcon

    This particular problem is one of the easiest to solve if everyone did not want to play politics and use illegal immigrants for their own purposes. If you want to work in the U.S. you must have legal permission to do so. If are currently not legal and the nation’s economy needs you, then the nation should provide some reasonable path for you to be here legally and to work here legally. Why is that so hard? Immigration reform simply means recognizing that we cannot deport an estimated 12 million individuals but we need to get them out the shadows. It’s tough when they are so useful for political points because there is little interest to change the status quo.

  • Churl

    midcon has good point about immigration reform, if by immigration reform we mean quickly and fairly granting citizenship to responsible and productive people.

    If by immigration reform we mean “letting in lots of people who will vote Democrat, who cares what else they do”, then I don’t like it much.

    I wonder why it’s so important to certain unnamed businesses that their employees be illegal immigrants. Certainly some businesses need low wage workers, but must they be illegal? Perhaps it’s a little easier to squeeze illegals on working conditions, hours, wages, and safety than it is to pull the same stuff on citizens.

    • ottovbvs

      Economics Churl. There are a lot of low paying jobs for which there isn’t a large supply of domestic labor. Your problem is you can’t sort these issues into different siloes. Politics is very secondary to the economics in this matter which is why ultimately the Republicans will lose out.

      • Churl

        Economics, Otto. One reason there is not a supply of domestic labor for certain jobs is that employing illegal immigrants holds down wages in these jobs.

        Besides economic desperation, there are other reasons that illegals cost less. One reason is taxation. Employers probably do not pay workers compensation, social security and medicare taxes for their illegals; illegals themselves probably don’t pay income tax or self-employment social security and medicare levies. Removal of tax “wedge” between employer cost and employee take home pay gives considerable advantage to the illegals over citizens in competition for even low wage jobs.

        And, of course, illegals are rather less likely than citizens to annoy their employers by insisting on following rules about workplace safety, HAZMAT and other protections that citizens take for granted.

        • ottovbvs

          One reason there is not a supply of domestic labor for certain jobs is that employing illegal immigrants holds down wages in these jobs.

          No doubt true to some extent but this is traceable back to economics. If you want cheap strawberries etc. But a lot of it is just unattractive to red blooded Americans. Of course there’s a tipping point for everything but the result will be a higher cost of operations for businesses in those states that follow this path and not for those states that don’t. Arizona will have a higher cost base than California. That’s why the entire patchwork quilt approach is nonsensical. We need an integrated approach tha solves the problem but the nativists aren’t interested.

        • Churl

          Arizona will have a higher cost base than California.

          Yes. Quite often a business that obeys the law has higher costs than one in a similar line that doesn’t. But this isn’t much of an argument against having a law.

      • LFC

        “There are a lot of low paying jobs for which there isn’t a large supply of domestic labor.”

        And this is where I get pissed off with the supposed free market types. John McCain said that we had to have illegal labor because Americans wouldn’t pick crops in AZ in 100 degree heat. Well for $3 an hour, that’s probably true. That’s where the free market is supposed to kick in. Can’t get ‘em for $3? Try minimum wage. Still can’t get ‘em? Try $10. If you’re up to a living wage and still can’t get pickers, then we have something to talk about.

  • drdredel

    I am not for slave labor, Nthinker. I’m for honesty. The argument that the Right always makes is hitched to fairness. “We don’t want to see people get taken advantage of”. This is a completely fair argument and I agree with it 100%. However, I can make this argument since I’m in favor of it across the board; I don’t forget that this is how I felt about Mexicans when suddenly we’re talking about Americans who are being told that it’s ok for them to be working for McDonalds at 50% below the living wage in their area, and without health insurance, and why is it the government’s job to look out for people’s best interests, and if they don’t like it they should go get an education and etc. etc.

    If you only care about people’s welfare when they happen to be illegal then your ostensible reasoning is self-evident, and the true nature of your claims, that being a hatred of foreigners, is revealed.

    Otto is entirely correct. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have this problem because Mexico wouldn’t be a giant clusterfuck where people can’t make a living. We don’t have a problem with Canadians desperate to pick our strawberries, do we? The solution is to embrace these people, and try to help them, not to pretend that if we make it more difficult for them to work here, they’ll just go home and die. If you believe in market economics the first thing to note is what a market trends towards when unregulated, and then regulate it. The way drugs are handled is a perfect example of how this doesn’t work (here) and works pretty swimmingly in the Netherlands. I’d elaborate, but it’s self explanatory.

    • nhthinker

      drdredel,
      You are weaseling and ignoring the article associated with this thread…
      Are you for or against the SCOTUS decision to allow state governments to withhold business licenses from business owners that ignore the legal work status of the workers they hire?

      Just because there is injustice somewhere, it is no excuse for ignore decent laws.
      Liberals are too busy trying to coddle that they think their coddling should trump good laws and in the process they give cover to unscrupulous business owners that want to take unfair advantage of illegal workers.

  • drdredel

    Nthinker,

    I don’t believe I did any weaseling. I made my position clear in my original comment and then responded directly to your (idiotic) assertion that I’m in favor of promoting slave practices.

    I’m not enough of a legal scholar to disagree with SCOTUS’ decision on whether or not this law is constitutional, but I regret the law to begin with because it’s either a really pathetic (and doomed) attempt at regulation, or just a blatant exercise in bigotry (probably some of each).

    This isn’t about “liberals”. If someone had a reasonably good plan on how to get people to not come here illegally and subject themselves to cruelty, I’m sure liberals (and everyone else decent) would be on board. This law doesn’t achieve said goal. It simply creates hardships for American businesses. The illegal workers will find other ways to work illegally and the American businesses that need them will find ways to hire them. This law (much like the drug laws) simply makes criminals of people who are trying to live their lives, and are hurting no one.

    • nhthinker

      “This law (much like the drug laws) simply makes criminals of people who are trying to live their lives, and are hurting no one.”

      This law is about getting employers to spend more effort to hire legal workers instead of illegal ones. It is not surprising a liberal like you would implicitly defend the illegal actions of these employers.

      These employers ARE hurting the rights of Americans to compete with only legal workers.

  • Churl

    Odd, the usual lefty view of businesses is that they must be subject to laws and regulations and all manner of scrutiny. Unless the businesses hire illegal immigrants, in which case the liberal heart bleeds, for the first time in my memory, for business owners.

  • ottovbvs

    [i]Churl // May 27, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    “Arizona will have a higher cost base than California.”

    Yes. Quite often a business that obeys the law has higher costs than one in a similar line that doesn’t. But this isn’t much of an argument against having a law.[/i]

    You can have as many laws as you like but economic reality tends to win out.

    Unless the businesses hire illegal immigrants, in which case the liberal heart bleeds, for the first time in my memory, for business owners.

    You obviously didn’t read any of my comments on the oil spill or Japan’s nuclear problems. I’m a realist unlike you and to be fair some of my more liberal compadres. This is damaging to business and will bite the Republicans in the ass. If you’re happy so am I.

    • Churl

      “You can have as many laws as you like but economic reality tends to win out.”

      Hmmm. Could be. If so, stay tuned to see what happens in the long run to Obamacare, environmental regulation, Sarbanes-Oxley…. There are differences of opinion as to the effects of these measures. So, we let economic reality sort them out. The results should be interesting.

      • ottovbvs

        The balance of economic forces are tilted inexorably in favor of Obamacare and environmental legislation. Sarbox is a bit more iffy because of the lobbying power of the financial industry but there’s no doubt that in overall terms regulation of the financial industry is going to be more stringent than heretofore. You know I’m right about immigration laws but can’t bring yourself to admit it and so seek refuge in legalisms or changing the subject.

  • drdredel

    This law is about getting employers to spend more effort to hire legal workers instead of illegal ones.

    I understand what the law is “about”. And my 8 year old’s putting her teeth under the pillow is “about” getting a donation from the tooth fairy. But in spite of your staunchly un-liberal posture, you will agree that the likelihood of this winding up the actual source of the funds is relatively low, right?

    There are laws that mandate that people drive 55, but no one (including Sammy Hagar) does. This law will be a pain in the ass to a bunch of people who already have their share of hardships. It’s a feather in the cap of some dick-head legislator that wants to be recognized for doing something about the problem of illegal immigration.

    The (happy) truth is that there IS no problem of illegal immigration. There is no evidence whatsoever that their presence here (legal or otherwise) has anything but a beneficial effect, and as I said above, worrying about the jobs they’re stealing from our native born factory workers is simply missing the forest for the trees. If you’re really eager to work in a factory, there are oodles of places on earth where you can go and do that. This is no longer one of them (and hurray for that!)

    • Churl

      “The (happy) truth is that there IS no problem of illegal immigration.”

      With that sentence you could spark a lively conversation in California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona….

      • ottovbvs

        Avoiding the issue again Churl? Dredel is basically right. Such as evidence as there is suggests illegal immigration (or indeed any immigration into the US) is broadly beneficial in economic terms. Does it bring problems. Of course it does just as mass immigration did before WW 1 but it was that mass immigration that transformed the US into major world power.Sure there are nativists in Texas and Arizona who don’t like it but that’s just prejudice not a verifiable outcome.

        • Churl

          “Does it bring problems? Of course it does….”

          And some of the residents of some of the states suffer from the problems much more than those living comfortably in other places. Hence their desire to cut down on illegal immigration.

          “Such evidence as there is….” is a mighty weak response to those peoples’ concerns.

          “Sure there are nativists in Texas and Arizona who don’t like it but that’s just prejudice not a verifiable outcome.”

          Call ‘em names and say they’re prejudiced: the fallback of lefty argumentation.

  • Rabiner

    This was a stupid law that will be addressed at the Federal level with legislation. E-Verify is an inaccurate system that dings 20% of workers as being illegal due to errors in record keeping or people having the same name. It will target legal Hispanics disproportionately since so many have the same surname. That is why the business community was against this law, not to mention the civil liberty organizations.

    • nhthinker

      Your statistics are WRONG or at least intentionally misleading. Please quote your source.
      The law is no one loses their job for a tentative non-confirmation. Only a final non-confirmation that uses investigation beyond E-Verify.

      —-
      http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2011/feb/23/david-raynor/Georgia-Chamber-E-Verify-accuracy-problems/

      Thompson referred PolitiFact Georgia to the federal Government Accountability Office, which issued a report on the program in December, plus an audit of the program by independent contractor Westat, a research company.

      Indeed, the GAO and experts for and against making E-Verify mandatory agree that the program has improved. It’s overwhelmingly accurate for authorized workers, but it fails to catch a large percentage of illegal ones.

      The most current data says that overall, it was inaccurate between 2.3 and 5.7 percent of the time, according to Westat.

      For legal workers, its error rate was between 0.6 percent and 1 percent, Westat found. But of the workers it thought may be unauthorized, 22 percent were actually legal.

      E-Verify mistook legal, foreign-born workers for illegal ones 20 percent more often than it did for their U.S.-born counterparts, according to Westat. The system especially struggled with workers with Hispanic and Arab surnames, which means “increased potential exists for an adverse impact on individuals’ civil rights and civil liberties,” the GAO warned.

      =======
      Your 20% number seems to be foreign born workers (not common foreign surnames) and it does not identify if the error rate is for tentative non-confirmations or for final non-confirmations.

      ======

      Know Your Rights – Quick List

      Employers must post a notice informing employees of their use of E-Verify.

      E-Verify must be used for new hires only. It cannot be used to verify the employment eligibility of current employees.
      E-Verify must be used for all new hires regardless of national origin or citizenship status. It may not be used selectively.
      E-Verify must be used only after hire and after completion of the Form I-9. Employers may not pre-screen applicants through E-Verify.
      If an employee receives a tentative nonconfirmation, the employer must promptly provide the employee with information about how to challenge the tentative nonconfirmation, including a written notice generated by E-Verify.
      If an employee decides to challenge a tentative nonconfirmation, the employer must provide the person with a referral letter issued by E-Verify that contains specific instructions and contact information.
      Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because he/she contests a tentative nonconfirmation. This includes firing, suspending, withholding pay or training, or otherwise limiting his/her employment.
      The employee must be given eight federal government work days to contact the appropriate federal agency to contest the tentative nonconfirmation.
      Employers may not take any adverse action against any employee based upon the tentative nonconfirmation for the duration of the tentative nonconfirmation (even if it extends beyond ten federal government work days) as long as the employee contacted the appropriate federal agency within eight federal government work days.
      Employers may terminate workers based upon E-Verify only upon receipt of a final nonconfirmation or upon notice that an employee has chosen not to contest a tentative nonconfirmation.
      Employers may not use E-Verify to re-verify the employment eligibility of an existing employee. Re-verification must be conducted through the Form I-9.