An important decision by the U.S. Supreme Court - a victory for states, like Arizona, that take state legislative action to protect their borders and citizens.
It is a closely watched immigration case. And, today, in a 5-3 decision in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, the high court concluded that an Arizona employer-sanctions law that penalizes businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants is constitutional.
We had filed an amicus brief backing the Arizona law arguing exactly what the high court concluded. Chief Justice John Roberts correctly concluded that the Arizona Workers Act 'does not conflict with federal immigration law.'
This decision represents an important victory for Arizona and other states that desire to protect their borders and citizens
The Supreme Court decision provides a realistic roadmap for states to take appropriate action in enacting legislation that is constitutional. It's clear that states can take action that compliments federal immigration law without violating it. The decision affirms that the Arizona law represents a valid and constitutional exercise of Arizona's police powers.
As the Chief Justice concluded in the majority opinion:
"Arizona has taken the route least likely to cause tension with federal law," wrote Roberts. "It relies solely on the federal government's own determination of who is an unauthorized alien, and it requires Arizona employers to use the federal government's own system for checking employee status."
In our amicus brief, posted here, we argued: "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."
Our brief also noted that "illegal immigration is a serious problem" and argues 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."
You can read the entire Supreme Court opinion here.