You’ve probably heard the news already (see the above link) but, if not, the Supreme Court yesterday upheld an Arizona law that would revoke the license of any business in the state of Arizona who knowingly hires illegal immigrants. At least eight other states have such laws. Now that the Supreme Court has given the green light to enforce them, we can expect other states to quickly draft laws following the Arizona example.
Perhaps the biggest consequence of this decision is that it will virtually mandate employers to use the E-verify system to assure that job applicants are in the U.S. legally. If accused of knowingly hiring illegals, employers must prove that they actually took steps to prevent such hirings. Use of the E-verify system may be the best – and perhaps the only – proof that they took steps to prevent hiring illegals. In fact, failure to use the system may constitute proof that they were turning a blind eye.
This Arizona law is actually completely separate from the law enacted by Arizona last year, requiring law enforcement to check the legal status of anyone suspected of being illegal, which drew so much attention and condemnation by the president last year. The Supreme Court has yet to weigh in on that law.
Regardless of how the Supreme Court decides on that next law, this decision is a huge victory in the fight against illegal immigration. Employers not already using the E-verify system will be soon be implementing it in droves. Without the draw of employment, this will have a chilling effect on illegal immigration.
The vast majority of Americans are sick of illegal immigrants taking already-scarce jobs and driving down wages. While both political parties at the national level have been quite effective in lobbying against any effort to rein in businesses’ source of cheap labor, they hold no sway whatsoever over states and municipalities where politicians live or die by simply doing the will of the people. Now those local governments have a major weapon at their disposal to enforce immigration laws if the federal government insists on abdicating its responsibility.