At issue is whether federal immigration law prevents states from imposing their own penalties on businesses that employ undocumented immigrants. This case has been filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the state of Arizona after it passed a law in 2007 that imposed penalties on businesses that hire undocumented workers.
This could be an interesting case in several ways. First, it could halt much of the local legislation that has been enacted in jurisdictions across the U.S. That could be good news for immigrants across the nation, many of whom (even those with full authorization to live in the U.S.) have been unfairly discriminated against because they look Latino. Secondly, it could send a clear signal that U.S. labor law, which is set up to shelter employers who violate immigration laws, should continue as per precedent.
I’m no fan of punishing immigrants when the people who hire them are allowed to violate the law with impunity. However, the attempts to address our immigration problems locally has simply failed. It should be interesting to see what comes of this.