It is time to end the farce.
Last week, the US Supreme Court upheld an Arizona law that allows that state to put everything from fast food chains to farmers out of business for hiring illegal immigrants.
Just how devastating that can be was reflected in the words of Janet Napolitano - who was the governor in 2007 when the legislation was passed. Napolitano called it “the business death penalty” when she signed it into law.
The ruling sent up howls of protest from the US Chamber of Commerce which tends to represent the interests of large corporations more so than mom and pop stores on Main Street and small manufacturing concerns.
So what was so horrific about the law that passed constitutional muster with the highest court in the land?
It requires employers to use the federal E-Verify system to check employees’ legal status. If they repeatedly hire workers not on the E-Verify system - basically illegals - Arizona can revoke charters or business licenses of offending employers.
Since it is already illegal not to check the citizenship of job applicants that are offered employment how can this be such a devastating ruling? Well, Arizona -unlike the federal government - actually bothers to enforce immigration laws.
Civil rights groups are also up in arms about how the ruling violates the rights of illegal immigrants. The United States must be the only government on the planet that confers all the benefits of legal standing on invaders who are criminals by the mere act of entering this country illegally.
The ruling is pretty clear in terms of Arizona being able under the constitution to put firms out of business that repeatedly fail to verify legal status of workers that they hire that turn out to be illegals. Chief Justice John Roberts, in the majority opinion, wrote, “Congress expressly preserved the ability of the states to impose sanctions through licensing.”
While using E-Verify is currently an option under federal guidelines but business must file I-9 forms that say they have verified an applicant’s citizenship using two of a list of required documents with one being a Social Security number under perjury of law.
Requiring E-Verify in Arizona took away the excuse - which is true to a degree - that it is time consuming and often near impossible for small businesses to confirm legal documents of applicants. They are expected, though, to sign under perjury of law that they saw them and make copies of such documents to attach to the I-9 form.
Three Arizona businesses have been charged to date under the law. One - Danny’s Subway - agreed to shut its doors for two days after the owner confessed that he helped an illegal to use fake documents to complete an employment application.
The Arizona law has been used as a catalyst by the Maricopa County sheriff to act off tips often left on a county hotline for raids on businesses that led to the arrest of hundreds of illegal workers. It is from those raids that three businesses were charged. The reason more haven’t been is the state has to prove that a business hired illegals “knowingly” which is where E-Verify comes into play.
The spokesman for a state business organization that opposes the law told the Wall Street Journal that “People don’t want to build here. They don’t want to raise their kids here” because of the law.
This is precisely the point. Illegals won’t want to raise their families in Arizona under such a non-welcoming climate which is why the state is enforcing the federal law via the business license law.
The real bottom line is why should businesses that opt to break a law get cheap labor at the expense of law-abiding businesses plus those American citizens in the hunt for jobs that are essentially displaced.
What opponents of the Supreme Court decision should be doing is pushing for national implementation of E-Verify as a mandate while at the same time demanding that illegals pursue American citizenship.
But there’s a dirty little secret that no one wants to talk about that prevents that. Once illegals become American citizens and are well aware of workers’ rights they may not be willing to work for near starvation wages, work overtime without complaining and without compensation, or subject themselves to other compromises that the federal government would never tolerate being done to citizens.
At the end of the day corporate America that has just plundered the pocketbooks of rank-and-file Americans with their greedy recklessness on Wall Street and then their raiding of the federal treasury to essentially cover their financial misdeeds is able to make more money by hiring illegals.
And in doing so they displace citizens who are footing the bill for federal bailouts of corporate America and whose savings and retirement funds have been decimated by those playing it fast and loose.
Little wonder the U.S. Chamber of Commerce doesn’t’ want immigration laws enforced.