Supreme Court backs Arizona immigration law that punishes businesses
May 26th, 2011
10:32 AM ET
3 years ago

Supreme Court backs Arizona immigration law that punishes businesses

Washington (CNN) – The Supreme Court has backed an Arizona law that punishes businesses hiring illegal aliens, a law that opponents, including the Obama administration, say steps on traditional federal oversight over immigration matters.

The 5-3 ruling Thursday is a victory for supporters of immigration reform.

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Filed under: Arizona • Immigration • Supreme Court
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    And here we go again with the Roberts court pretending to apply precedent while subtley undermining and altering it.

    May 26, 2011 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    There are federal laws against hiring illegals. I agree with the declared intent of the law. But do states have the authority to pass laws that determine what is legal or illegal when it comes to commerce? Yes, they can outlaw crimes such as prostitution and other sales of controlled substances.

    But do states have the authority to pass laws regarding hiring of illegals? Yes, they can outlaw such practices. But, they do not have the authority to determine citizenship status. That part is out of their jurisdiction. This is a difficult case.

    May 26, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  3. GI Joe

    I've always said corporate America is responsible for offering those jobs – enticing the illegals to come here (for their own profit) and then complain. It's rampant in Arizona and Texas. The federal laws have NOT been enforced by the states, yet the states whine and moan.

    May 26, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Audrea

    The REAL problem here is that you won't be punished if you hire them for gardening or house keeping duties. I feel like it's just wrong, so wrong to exclude those professions, regardless of what the law is (for or against). It's stereo-typical and let's the wealthy off the hook. ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

    May 26, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. The Other Dale

    Ho-boy – the one law Republicans did NOT want to see get passed has gotten an okay from the Supreme Court. For a political party that alway favors the rights of businesses over people to have them now being penalized for not bothering to check that their cheap labor are illegal? Oh, heads will roll over this! Plus, this now opens the door to mandate penalizing businesses for not covering insurance for workers, or other compensations. After all, if checking on legal status is okay, then certainly checking to make sure employees are covered by insurance and penallizing buisness who don't do so is next.

    Yep, Arizona has opened a whole can of worms here that will only HELP the liberal process in the long run, which I doubt was what they were going for here. And the real kicker is that they'll never get the Supreme Court to agree with letting the bigget law pass. They'll get this bone tossed to them instead, which is just amusing in the irony.

    May 26, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. gt

    the gutless crew in washingston will not do anything .. there afraid of loosing a voter... the govenors of the boarder state have to protect there voters and there property.... typical of what we see every day in washington...nothing but photo ops.

    May 26, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  7. d

    The SC got this one right. The AZ law is in full concert with the federal laws...right down to the same definitions. The Chief Justice wrote a well-reasoned opinion. The states have every right and authority to regulate licensing in their own states...which is exactly what this law regards.

    May 26, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    Audrea
    The REAL problem here is that you won't be punished if you hire them for gardening or house keeping duties.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    You will if you get caught.Your point I know is that you hate people who have done well for themselves. They must be evil.

    May 26, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  9. diridi

    Get them, any one who hires "Illegals and Non-USA-Citizens". Put them in Jail, and send them to Guantanamo prison....make sure they do not know swimming....o.k, Watch, Motels, Gas stations....and all oriental business....o.k, Menace, and problem with them...

    May 26, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  10. gt

    some of you that hate corporations must want everyone to go back and work on a farm and have 40 acres and a mule...big business is not the devil....ugh..

    May 26, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. jl

    This Arizona law is related to intra-state commerce not inter-state commerce. Nothing fishy here.

    May 26, 2011 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    The Other Dale wrote:
    Ho-boy – the one law Republicans did NOT want to see get passed has gotten an okay from the Supreme Court. For a political party that alway favors the rights of businesses over people to have them now being penalized for not bothering to check that their cheap labor are illegal?
    ------------
    Try googling " I9 Form". ( That's "eye – nine".) This is not as new as your suggest. Employers were never held responsible for not filling it out properly. Their signature was meaningless. I still think that employers cannot be held responsible for something they are trained to do, which is properly verifying "eligibility documents". I cannot recognize a forgery. What about you?

    May 26, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. GonzoinHouston

    While I am not up on the legal technicalities involved, I agree with the basic concept. Most illegal immigrants come here in search of work. Businesses that hire them are providing an illegal product (the job) and contributing to the problem.

    The ultimate answer, though, is complete immigration reform, including hiring penalties, border control, and some sort of legal status for the 10 million+ now in this country.

    May 26, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. John

    Jan Brewer you make sure you close every Business that Hired Illegal Immigrants and suspend there Licenses. Than Arizona will be a Ghost State with In Two years. Because if the Business didn't hiring these people they wouldn't be there. So all your Business will be close with In two years. Now reminder to keep your word every business no matter who It Is , Even If It a Friend of your.

    May 26, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    But, they do not have the authority to determine citizenship status. That part is out of their jurisdiction. This is a difficult case.
    ===============================================================================================
    States are not "determining citizenship status", they are checking it. They are using THE SYSTEM SETUP BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT JUST FOR THIS PURPOSE. Why should States be turning a blind eye to people breaking laws? It appears our federal government under the Obama administration is doing just that. I thought this country was supposed to be based on the rule of law? the Obama administration is turning it into a dictatorship by ignoring our laws and doing whatever he wants.

    May 26, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Try googling " I9 Form". ( That's "eye – nine".) That form was created under Reagan at the height of the Haitian Boat People crisis. You filled out the form and sent it to the IRS along with the W4 form. They handled it. Employers were not held responsible for not filling it out properly. Their signature was meaningless. Despite the harsh language on the form, you were obligated to send it in, not check the veracity of the documents.

    IRS complained about processing Immigration forms, so Bush-41 passed legislation that said employers should keep it on file in the event that INS representatives showed up at the work site or place of employment. Soon, employers complained about the excess paperwork. So Bush-43 passed legislation that said keep the form for 3 years.

    During the past 25 years, employers have never been accountable. I still think that employers cannot be held responsible for something they are not trained to do, which is properly verifying "eligibility documents". I cannot recognize a forgery. What about you?

    May 26, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "This Arizona law is related to intra-state commerce not inter-state commerce. Nothing fishy here."

    That is entirely 100% irrelevant. Thanks for playing.

    May 26, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Let AZ continue to win this battle, against the do-nothings in Washington.

    May 26, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |