On May 26, 2011, the United States Supreme Court ruled 5 to 3 upholding Arizona’s employer Sanctions Law.
This is a victory for Governor Jan Brewer who posted on her Facebook page, ” A victory today for the State of Arizona in our battle against illegal immigration! The US Supreme Court upheld Arizona’s employer sanctions law that penalizes employers who hire illegal immigrants. Again, a great victory in our ongoing battle!”
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano signed this law into effect while she was governor of Arizona in 2007. The Chamber of Commerce along with various other organizations disagreed with the law and filed suit.
Yet the Federal Government already has an Employer Sanction Program
In 1986 the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986(IRCA ’86) was passed into law by Congress. This federal law required ALL employers to verify the identity and right to work of all employees. There were employer sanctions put into effect that allowed fines to be levied against employers who used illegal aliens in their businesses.
IRCA ’86 Causes illegal entries to plunge
I was with the United States Border Patrol stationed in Uvalde, Texas when IRCA ’86 was enacted. After this law went into effect, apprehensions of illegal aliens plummeted. Most of the Border Patrol Agents I worked with then believed this law would eventually make our duties obsolete and our agency would become overlooked and underfunded. Boy was I wrong.
Employer Sanctions slowly faded away with more regulations being brought against the investigating agencies. Fines became more difficult to obtain and ways around it were quickly discovered.
IRCA ’86 is still in effect. An employer has to fill out an I-9 for every new employee and verify the employees’ identity and employment eligibility. IRCA ’86 has the potential to virtually solve the illegal immigration problem yet twenty-five years later, the law is virtually ignored by both employers and illegal aliens.
Fraudulent Green Cards and Social Security Cards Readily Available
In 1997, I transferred to the Pasco Station of the United States Border Patrol. This was an interior station set in the heart of a large labor-intensive agricultural area. I quickly found that almost every illegal alien I encountered had a fake Resident Alien Card and a fake Social Security Card. Lawfully Admitted Resident Alien Cards are commonly referred to as Green Cards.
Employers discovered that when their employees filled out I-9s, verifying identity and employment eligibility, the employer only had to make a “good faith effort” to confirm the documentation presented was valid. They were not considered to have the expertise to distinguish a valid card from a fake one. Therefore employers can legitimately accept a fake green card and fake social security card and not be violating the law.
At the Pasco Border Patrol Station I found that any alien who arrived in the area could obtain a false green card and a false social security card within a day or two of arrival. Numerous individuals and entities were supplying these fake documents. One of the most ingenious suppliers was a large Taco Truck. A subject would enter the front door, have his photo taken and by the time he left the rear of the truck, he would have a fake green card and social security card with his name and birth date on it. Ingenuity at work.
I seized hundreds of such fake documents over the six years I was stationed at the Pasco office while my partner there had a large box jammed full of these documents.
E-Verify Could Make Law Effective
The government has created programs such as E-Verify for employers to use to validate documents presented but it is voluntary for employers to use the system. This program would severely curb the use of illegal aliens if it were mandatory.
Arizona wouldn’t need an employer sanctions law if the United States would enforce their own law that has been on the book since 1986.
Chamber of Commerce of the United States v. whiting www.supremecourt.gov