We're told we need a nationwide congressional law because states like California and New York will never pass an Arizona-style law. Now that states have the go-ahead from the Supreme Court to implement mandatory E-Verify and voluntary attrition is taking place, there's a better chance that many more states will imitate Arizona than that the Obama administration will ever enforce E-Verify.
Since Arizona's law went into effect, 80,000 illegal aliens have already left that state, and Georgia has seen a similar exodus. Their voluntary departure is without cost to the taxpayers.
We are told that Arizona's law, and similar laws passed by other states including Alabama, Missouri and Georgia, were passed only to prod the federal government into taking action, and H.R. 2164 is the appropriate result. In fact, those state laws were passed to protect their own citizens from the enormous costs of dealing with illegal aliens by schools, hospitals and various welfare programs, and to protect their citizens against unfair competition for jobs in our current period of high unemployment.
Illegal immigration is a vast unfunded mandate. Given that states are mandated by the Supreme Court's five-to-four decision in Plyler v. Doe in 1982 to admit illegal alien children into tax-supported schools, and mandated by Congress to give illegal aliens health care in hospital emergency rooms, the states should have the power to defend themselves.
An additional way to get employers to obey the law against employing illegal aliens would be to amend H.R. 2164 with Rep. Steve King's, R-Iowa, proposal to make E-Verify a condition for the employer to take a tax deduction for wages paid, a provision already adopted by Alabama. That would put the incentive on the employer where it belongs, and we would not need prosecutions or deportations.
Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., says about Lamar Smith's bill, "The Supreme Court says state and local laws can be enforced, and now the federal government wants to take that power away. We cannot allow this to happen."
The bottom line is that Smith's H.R. 2164 absolutely must be amended to allow concurrent enforcement by the states, and to strike the sections that allow businesses to continue to employ illegal aliens unless the Obama administration actually takes action against them.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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