E-Verify Usage Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court
Miami, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 30, 2011 – It looks like E-Verify is in like Flynn. This could be a good sign for other states.
“Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 2007 Arizona law mandating that all employers in the state use E-Verify for screening illegal aliens and yanking business licenses from firms that hire them anyway. The core of the decision was that the law doesn’t improperly infringe on the federal domain, largely because the Immigration Reform and Control Act has a clause that ‘explicitly’ allows states to use licensing provisions to punish employers,” explained Larry S. Rifkin, managing partner at Rikfin & Fox-Isicoff, an immigration law firm with law offices in Miami, Florida and Orlando, Florida.
The timing of the decision turned out to be a good thing for other states, like Indiana, that had just passed their own E-Verify law. The ACLU of Indiana had challenged that law by suing. “While the decision is not necessarily a full blown victory for Indiana, the reference to the federal prerogative is the key for them. Other provisions exist in the Indiana law that are not a part of the Arizona statute,” indicated Rifkin.
“Why is this decision so important?” asked Rifkin. “It’s important because the states are beginning to realize that chasing employers, instead of handing the police more power, is more effective in curtailing illegal immigration. If an immigrant has come here to work illegally and they can’t get hired, this may send them back home. Needless to say, the system has a whole lot of glitches in it to be ironed out first before it is effective,” he added.
While flawed in some respects, a system such as E-Verify keeps most companies on the straight and narrow. If they do hire illegal workers, they pay the penalties. No American company wants their livelihood threatened in such a direct, bottom line manner as this affects their ability to make money and they tend to respond with compliance.
Of particular interest are the initial statistics relating to Arizona employer sanctions. The illegal immigrant population there dropped about 18 percent, which many feel was the result of using the E-Verify program. “The ramifications of these numbers are rather interesting, and if they continue to increase, it may be that this partial solution to illegal immigration is far less painful and costly than other methods, including raids, detention, deportation and miles of indefensible fences,” Rifkin commented.
Although there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to immigration reform, there are still many stalemates between the federal government and the states. This is the status of immigration reform right now and no one knows when or how it will move forward.
Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, P.A.
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Miami, Florida 33131
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