The Supreme Court today upheld an Arizona law that imposes sanctions against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, on a 5-3 vote that saw Justice Elena Kagan abstain, since she worked as President Obama’s Solicitor General. I wonder if that understandable decision will come back to haunt her, if she doesn’t recuse herself from voting on ObamaCare, once it completes its inexorable journey to the Court.
The law, which dates back to 2007, allows the state of Arizona to suspend the business licenses of those who hire illegal aliens, without using the federal E-Verify system to confirm their immigration status. After the first offense, the business goes on probation, and could lose its license permanently if it breaks the law again.
According to ABC News, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in dissent that “Congress has strong reasons for insisting on the voluntary nature of the E-Verify program,” whose database of “tens of millions of Social Security and immigration records kept by the Federal Government” is “prone to error.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m getting really tired of hearing the $3.6 trillion federal government, which has over 2 million employees, whine about its inability to perform simple data processing tasks. Could we fire the clowns who gave us a system “prone to error,” and replace them with people who can create and track simple data files accurately? Or will those same error-prone bureaucrats be in charge of our medical records under ObamaCare?
Banks have no trouble keeping track of vast numbers of customers. Membership in any number of organizations can be electronically verified in a matter of moments. Hiding from the IRS is notoriously difficult. State lotteries sell millions of tickets per week with perfect accuracy. Why can’t we give employers an accurate federal database that verifies immigration status in a timely manner? Maybe we should subcontract immigration records to the Powerball team.
It should be noted that this law was not passed by the fiery current governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, but rather by her predecessor, current Obama Administration Director of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Nevertheless, the L.A. Times describes it as a “so-called business death penalty,” a term they have yet to deploy against the Administration’s moratoriums, job-killing taxes, and strongarm actions on behalf of greedy labor unions.
The Supreme Court majority felt it was a reasonable exercise of the state’s prerogatives to issue, and rescind, business licenses. Now we’ll see how they feel about the much more controversial law that allows police officers to demand proof of immigration status from people they have stopped for other reasons. Besides being attacked more emotionally and dishonestly, that law comes much closer to being a critique of federal immigration inaccuracy, by a state that is weary of dealing with the results.