The Supreme Court is now considering a case out of Arizona - involving one of that state's immigration laws - a case that could very well set the legal tone for how Arizona and other states deal with immigration.
You may have not heard much about this case yet. But you will. This is not the highly-publicized challenge to AZ's SB 1070 that is also facing constitutional challenges. More about that case in a moment.
The case now before the Supreme Court is Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting (No. 09-115) - and involves the constitutionality of an Arizona employer-sanctions law that penalizes businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
Today, we filed an amicus brief with the high court in defense of that Arizona law. You can read our brief here.
The case involves the Legal Arizona Workers Act and we assert that this measure is not only constitutional but should not be preempted by federal law.
The issues at the center of this argument are crucial: whether states can take legislative action to protect their borders and citizens - without being trumped by the federal government. The Arizona law complements federal law and we're hopeful that the high court will permit Arizona to take the legislative action it desires and its citizens deserve.
In our amicus brief, we contend the Arizona law is a valid exercise of Arizona's police powers. The brief argues: "State laws, like the Legal Arizona Workers Act, that mirror federal immigration provisions and incorporate federal standards promote national policy and should not be preempted."
We also point out that "illegal immigration is a serious problem" and argue that the "federal government has proved inadequate to the tasks of enforcing current immigration laws and building consensus toward needed immigration reform" leaving states to "cope on their own."
We're urging the high court to uphold a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit, which upheld a lower court ruling declaring the Legal Arizona Workers Act constitutional.
Now, more about that second AZ immigration case - the challenge to SB 1070. That case is now before the 9th Circuit and originated with a lawsuit filed by the Obama Administration. The constitutionality of the measure is being challenged and we contend that SB 1070 is both a fair and appropriate measure to protect Arizona's citizens and control its borders.
We have filed an amicus brief in that case on behalf of 66 members of Congress urging the appeals court to uphold Arizona law SB 1070, key provisions of which were struck down as unconstitutional by a federal district court in July.
Oral arguments before a three-judge panel of the appeals court are scheduled to take place Monday, November 1st.
We will keep you posted on developments involving both of these immigration cases.