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New America Schwartz Fellow Statement on Immigration Ruling

Tamar Jacoby: Debate Over Who Should Make Immigration Law Far From Over
Published:   June 25, 2012

Tamar Jacoby, New America Foundation Bernard L. Schwartz fellow and ImmigrationWorks USA president, made the following statement in response to today's 5-3 Supreme Court decision on Arizona v. United States:

"The judicial equivalent of white smoke has risen - the Supreme Court has ruled. Many were expecting a tough decision, opening the floodgates to states' rights, and the majority opinion is surprising - it leaves less room than many anticipated for state immigration enforcement. The justices upheld the provision of most concern to immigrant rights advocates, requiring police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons who they suspect are in the country illegally. But even that part of the opinion is tenuous, and it's far from certain what will happen next.

Fears that the ruling will open the door to a rash of Arizona copycat measures may be exaggerated - in part because of what's happening in the states.

The past six years saw a federalist revolution in immigration lawmaking, with the states taking more power into their own hands every year. But the mood in most statehouses was strikingly different this spring, with lawmakers much less focused on immigration and in much less of a hurry to crack down. No state in the nation enacted a tough new immigration law. Most surprising, no state took advantage of the opening created by last year's Supreme Court immigration decision - the ruling that states may act to prevent and punish the hiring of unauthorized immigrants, requiring employers to enroll in the federal E-Verify worker identification program. Most observers expected that ruling too to encourage a host of imitators. In fact, nothing happened - not a single state enacted law mandating E-Verify for any new employers.

The fight over who should make immigration law, Washington or the states, is far from over. But today's ruling - consistent with the mood in many states - is a stunning reversal of recent trends."
 
To speak to Tamar Jacoby, please call 202 506-4541. 

About the New America Foundation
New America Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute that invests in new thinkers and new ideas to address the next generation of challenges facing the United States.

About ImmigrationWorks USA
ImmigrationWorks USA is a national federation of employers working to advance better immigration law. The network links major corporations, national trade associations and 25 state-based coalitions of small to medium-sized business owners concerned that the broken immigration system is holding back the growth of the U.S. economy. Their shared aim: legislation that brings America's annual legal intake of foreign workers more realistically into line with the country's labor needs.

To read ImmigrationWorks’ report on this year’s state legislative sessions, click HERE.
 
To speak to IW USA president Tamar Jacoby, please call 202 506-4541. 
 
About ImmigrationWorks USA
ImmigrationWorks USA is a national federation of employers working to advance better immigration law. The network links major corporations, national trade associations and 25 state-based coalitions of small to medium-sized business owners concerned that the broken immigration system is holding back the growth of the U.S. economy. Their shared aim: legislation that brings America’s annual legal intake of foreign workers more realistically into line with the country’s labor needs.

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