Bipartisan Consensus on Immigration
Subscribe today for Free Enterprise Updates
- Latest business trends and best practices
- News about legislation and regulation impacting business
- Business how-to articles from industry experts
- Commentary and interviews with newsmakers in business and politics
The Patchwork of State Immigration Laws Is Creating a Bigger Immigration Problem.
Diverse organizations from across the political spectrum are rallying behind the U.S. Chamber’s lawsuit challenging an Oklahoma immigration law, HB 1804. So far, 28 different groups have filed amicus curiae – or "friend of the court" – briefs expressing support for our argument that the employment provisions of 1804 violate federal immigration law, and are bad public policy. Civil rights groups such as the ACLU, labor organizations like Change to Win, business groups including Human Resource Initiative, and thirteen state chambers of commerce have all weighed Oklahoma’s legislation and found it wanting.
The amicus support in our case, Chamber of Commerce, et al v. Edmondson, et al., is more proof of the widespread bipartisan opposition to the emerging patchwork of conflicting and confusing state immigration laws. Last year alone, state legislatures proposed 1,400 immigration laws, and enacted 240 immigration laws. Many of these laws fly in the face of federal immigration law, which already provides the exclusive system for verifying the work authorization status of employees.
That includes the Oklahoma law which punishes employers with tax penalties and the threat of lawsuits if they don’t use a federal pilot program called "E-Verify" to check whether employees are eligible for employment. The problem is, E-Verify is a broken system that often flags the wrong employees as "unauthorized." And on top of that, Congress expressly said that its use had to be voluntary, not mandatory.
It’s time to have a national discussion about immigration policy and to craft a national solution. But the bipartisan support in our litigation shows that we can all agree that it’s not the role of the states to set national immigration policy.
Copies of all of the amicus briefs and a complete list of the organizations supporting the Chamber can be found here.