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Supreme Court Rejects Key Parts of Arizona’s Immigration Enforcement Law

On June 25, 2012, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5-3 decision to strike down three out of the four challenged provisions of Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, commonly known as S.B. 1070. The majority’s decision reaffirms the power of the federal government to set immigration policy and to preempt state laws that conflict with federal laws.

The Court blocked S.B. 1070 provisions that created new state misdemeanors for unauthorized aliens seeking or engaging in work in the state and for failure to complete or carry an alien registration document as required by federal statute. It also blocked the provision authorizing officers to arrest without a warrant a person whom an officer believes committed a public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.

The Court upheld the law’s best-known provision, which requires state law enforcement officers to make a reasonable attempt to determine the immigration status of individuals they stop or arrest if there is reason to believe the individuals might be unlawfully present in the United States. The Court found it was improper to enjoin this part of the law before state courts had an opportunity to interpret it and without some evidence that the measure as enforced conflicts with federal immigration law.

This week’s highly anticipated decision follows last year’s other notable Supreme Court immigration ruling in Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America et al. v. Whiting et al. In Whiting, the Court upheld the Arizona law that provides for revocation of business licenses for employers that employ unauthorized workers and requires Arizona employers to use E-verify, a federal, internet-based system used to confirm the immigration status of employees. Several states have similar laws requiring the use of E-verify by state employers and contractors. The Court’s recent decisions did not overturn or change these state E-verify requirements.  Multi-state employers must continue the difficult task of navigating the patchwork of state E-verify requirements.

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About this Author

Jose Olivieri, Michael Best Law Firm, Higher Education, Labor and Immigration Attorney
Partner, Industry Group Chair

José is the founder and co-chair of Michael Best’s immigration law practice. Clients depend on his deep knowledge of and experience with U.S. immigration law and employment-based immigration matters, including:

  • Immigration status

  • Permanent labor certification

  • National interest waiver

  • Adjustment of status

  • Consular processing

  • Citizenship and...

414-225-4967
Kelly M. Fortier, Michael Best Law Firm, Business immigration, Attorney
Partner

Kelly helps employers of all sizes meet their staffing needs by handling the immigration issues they face in hiring foreign nationals and moving employees around the globe.

A partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Relations practice group and Co-chair of the Immigration and International Migration team, she handles compliance issues for corporations that transfer dozens of employees into and out of the United States each year as well as small companies seeking to bring in a few key hires from abroad.

Kelly is highly valued by her clients for making the process of hiring foreign nationals easier and more predictable. She provides responsive and seamless service, coordinating, and managing the extensive immigration work for her clients’ Human Resources and legal staffs, often using strategies like Blanket L petition filings, E-2 investor visas, and B-1 business visitor guidance to smooth the immigration process. She also provides her clients with guidance on immigration law compliance, including Form I-9, E-Verify, and Social Security Number issues.

414-277-3460