U.S. Chamber Takes Arizona Immigration Case to U.S. Supreme Court
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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC) is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its case challenging the constitutionality of the employment provisions of a controversial Arizona immigration law. The case is Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. Candelaria, et al.
"Employers are being overwhelmed by a tidal wave of conflicting state and local immigration laws," said Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation Center, the U.S. Chamber's public policy law firm. "At least 150 employment-related immigration bills were proposed in just the first quarter of 2009. The Supreme Court needs to step in and make it clear that it's up to the federal government to set national immigration policy."
The challenged Arizona law, which went into effect on January 1, 2008, requires businesses to use the federal E-Verify pilot program to electronically verify employees' eligibility to work. Businesses that fail to comply with the program or that "intentionally or knowingly" employ unauthorized workers are subject to heavy sanctions. In its lawsuit, the Chamber argues that federal law prohibits Arizona and other states from making E-Verify use mandatory. The lawsuit has garnered widespread support, with business, labor and civil rights organizations joining in the litigation.
"The Chamber supports comprehensive immigration reform. What we oppose is a patchwork of state and local laws requiring employers to use a broken system that Congress said must be voluntary," said Conrad. "Federal law prohibits states and municipalities from overriding Congress' judgment that E-Verify be mandatory."