Arizona passed the Legal Arizona Workers Act in 2007 to require the use of E-Verify by businesses in that state and to allow the state to revoke the business license of any companies that knowingly employed illegal aliens.
On May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a five-to-three decision (Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting), upheld the Arizona law. The Court rejected the pro-amnesty claque's argument that immigration enforcement is exclusively the federal government's responsibility.
A similar case from Hazleton, Pa., was remanded by the high court to the Third Circuit to be reconsidered in light of the Arizona decision. Hazleton's ordinance to protect itself against employers hiring illegal aliens was so popular with voters that they re-elected its sponsor, Mayor Lou Barletta, and then elected him to Congress in 2010.
The pro-amnesty U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which was the loser in the Arizona case, conspired with House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, to introduce H.R. 2164, which unless amended, will reverse Arizona's significant victory. This bill sounds helpful because it pretends to make E-Verify mandatory nationwide, but it actually ties the hands of the states.
H.R. 2164 pre-empts the states from requiring use of E-Verify unless employees work for state or local governments. That's equivalent to giving amnesty to millions of illegal aliens who are currently employed in our country.
H.R. 2164 forbids the states from using their constitutional power to revoke licenses from businesses that hire illegal aliens unless there has been "a showing by the Secretary of Homeland Security, by clear and convincing evidence, that the employer had knowledge that an employee is an unauthorized alien." There is no likelihood that an Obama administration will prosecute employers who use E-Verify but fail to fire the illegals, or who contract out part of their workforce to circumvent the system.
The arguments for Lamar Smith's H.R. 2164 are fallacious. We are told that only the federal government can do anything about the immigration issue, but the recent Supreme Court decision provides the definitive rebuttal to that.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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