The most important result of today's Supreme Court ruling probably is not what will happen in the states but in Congress. With more than a dozen states with different E-Verify laws and different rules for businesses -- and with the Supreme Court opening the way for all other states to adopt their own rules -- the business lobbies ought to be ready to work with Congress to pass a uniform national law.
Many businesses that operate in multiple states are already complaining to their lobbyists that they don't like operating under all the different rules and would prefer a national law.
(Look at our map of all the states with mandatory E-verify laws. And check out some of the details on each. )
Unless Congress passes a mandatory E-Verify law this year, at least a dozen more states are likely next winter to pass their own E-Verify laws.
One of the complaints that business lobbyists are hearing from their members in states WITH E-Verify laws is that they don't like competing with businesses in other states that are allowed to use cheaper illegal labor while forcing taxpayers to subsidize them. So many businesses in E-Verify states are joining us in the pressure for a national law.
BUSINESS LOBBIES HAVE BLOCKED TOTAL E-VERIFY IN CONGRESS FOR 15 YEARS -- BUT WE HAVE BEEN WINNING STEP VICTORIES
Lobbyists for business groups and illegal-alien advocacy groups have blocked Congress from passing a national mandatory law since 1996.
NumbersUSA and its allies have fought every year to win incremental victories. First, to create the workplace verification system as a pilot program for just a few states. Later, to expand the voluntary system nationwide. Most recently to persuade Pres. Obama to mandate its use for all federal contractors.
If the Supreme Court had knocked us down today, the business lobbies would have looked out over a whole nation without any states requring employers to electronically verify that they weren't hiring illegal foreign workers. And they would have felt little pressure to do anything other than they've always done, which is to throw all their weight in Congress toward protecting employers that prefer to hire illegal aliens over unemployed Americans.
But not now.
THIS WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT IMMIGRATION COURT CASE -- AND WE WON IT
The case is Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting, 09-115.
Of all the open-border groups' court challenges against immigration enforcement across the country, this suit before the U.S. Supreme Court (that was heard last December) was/is by far the most important.
AND WE WON IT 5-3!
Nothing will do more to retard future illegal immigration and accelerate the departure of the current illegal population than taking away the job magnet.
Arizona and more than a dozen other states have already passed various versions of E-Verify law. All of those could have been wiped out when the Supreme Court announced its decision this morning.
But instead, our strategy of mandating E-Verify in as many states as possible to pressure Congress to do it nationwide has been approved by the highest court of the land.
NumbersUSA's AMICUS BRIEF WAS PART OF THIS COURT CASE
You may remember that as soon as the Supreme Court began business last fall NumbersUSA filed an Amicus brief in support of the State of Arizona making sure that the Justices and their clerks were aware of a number of important legal and factual points that we weren't certain were in the main briefs.
Here are links to my various blogs on our Amicus:
- WHAT WE TOLD SUPREME COURT (No. 1) -- Our 'Summary of Argument' In Support Of STATES Mandating E-Verify
- OUR AMICUS TO SUPREME COURT (No. 2) -- Chamber Is Wrong That U.S. Law Forbids Ariz To Pull Licenses of Illegal-Alien-Hiring Biz
- Biz Lobbyists Try To Stop State E-Verify Laws, Claiming 'Burden' To Business -- HERE IS WHY THEY ARE WRONG
The key issue in the court case was whether Arizona could take away the business license of an employer who refuses to use E-Verify.
The NumbersUSA Amicus went into great detail in showing that such a state law is precisely what Congress has set up as a state enforcement option over the last 25 years.
The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts who said that Arizona's E-Verify law "falls well within the confines of the authority Congress chose to leave to the states."
Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. (The newest Justice, Elena Kagan, was not involved in this case because she had been part of Pres. Obama's support of the Chamber of Commerce before she was elected to the Court.)
Please keep opening our email Alerts and joining with your fellow citizens in considering all the actions we will be offering you the next weeks to get a vote on E-Verify on the House floor this summer and in the Senate by fall.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU WHO HAVE BEEN PART OF THE EFFORTS TO MOVE THIS E-VERIFY ISSUE FORWARD.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA