This Date in Obama’s Administrative Amnesty: June 2, 2010

This Date in Obama's Administrative AmnestyOn this date four years ago, the Obama Administration filed an amicus brief on behalf of the U.S.

Chamber of Commerce asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a 2007 Arizona law that punishes employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. “The Legal Arizona Workers Act,” signed by then Arizona

Governor Janet Napolitano, requires all Arizona employers to use the federal E-Verify system, and allows Arizona to suspend and/or revoke the business licenses of employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens.

The Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit in 2007 — in what became known as the Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting seeking to strike down the Arizona law by arguing that federal law preempts both provisions. However, at the time the Chamber sought review by the U.S. Supreme Court, both lower courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, had already upheld it. In particular, even the Ninth Circuit viewed it as an exercise of a state’s traditional power to regulate businesses.

Ultimately, in May 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed that the law was not preempted, and rejected the Chamber and Obama Administration arguments in a 5-3 decision. Importantly, the Court held that while federal law prohibits the Secretary of Homeland Security from making E-Verify mandatory for the states, nothing prohibits the states from doing so themselves. The Court also upheld the Arizona law’s licensing provisions.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Whiting was monumental in paving the way for more states to enact mandatory E-Verify legislation. In fact, more than a dozen states have E-Verify laws on the books.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    I don’t know what good this does. Even if the High Court rules against the U.S., the mere fact that the US government grants a deferred action with employment authorization nullifies the ruling of The Legal Arizona Work Act. The deferred action which gives the President the right to grant deferred action where taking such action will invalidate any law proposed or passed by congress is meaningless . The real question regarding Deferred Action is
    whether the action taken by the President is for the benefit of this Country and not the individual. That is the reason
    Congress passed the effected Acts. The only thing that deferred action is intended for is a temporary period of time.
    I hate to say this but this President is here to ruin the Constitution of this Country. It is and is now not what the Congress intended in the Constitution of the United States.

  2. avatar

    The laws regarding who pays for illegals need to be changed. Currently it is local County and State property owners who get stuck with the bill for welfare, healthcare and education for illegals and are taxed on a local level. The Feds only pay for food stamps under the Agriculture Department.

    The entire lot should be shifted to the Feds as they are the ones claiming jurisdiction. As wealth is highly concentrated in America, it will be the 1%’ers and giant corporations who will get stuck with the bill. Only fair as it is the Chamber of Commerce who benefits from the cheap labor as currently they get the benefit while the States make up the difference in the cost of the social safety net. If the Chamber had to start paying its own labor bills, they would be less willing to support a mass invasion by the Third World.

    • avatar
      Lana Beyerle on

      You are sooooo right! The Chamber of Commerce is a Traitor to the legal American citizens. Our tax dollars should not support any profit or non-profit organization that works against the legal American citizens should NOT receive any tax dollars or exemptions from taxes for funding. Any organization that wants amnesty should FOOT THE BILL TO PAY FOR IT. Illegals are “greedy” criminals who came to America for the money and the benefits. They are allowed to break our laws and don’t intend to obey the ones they don’t like. Our immigration system is NOT BROKEN, it simply is not being enforced.

  3. avatar

    This Article Gives Me Some Hope

    Let’s keep the E-verify Law alive and kicking, albeit even this article didn’t document how successful the Arizona licensing policies for E-verify are? Are IAs slipping through anyway with lack of good audit controls? Let’s hope not, but someone should blog from Arizona about how many workers appear grey area IAs [lack of English and cultural assimulation skills] anyway.