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Reclaim American Jobs Caucus: U.S. Challenge to 2007 Arizona Law is Baseless

Press Release

Location: Unknown

The Congressional Reclaim American Jobs Caucus today sent a letter to Attorney General Holder regarding the U.S. Solicitor General's challenge to 2007 Arizona law that prevents illegal immigrants from being hired in the state. The Acting Solicitor General has filed a brief amicus curiae with the Supreme Court supporting a writ of certiorari in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Candelaria, in which the Administration argues that Arizona's law revoking the business licenses of businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants is unconstitutional.

They wrote: "We find it outrageous that you would seek to undermine Arizona's efforts to protect legal workers and ask that you withdraw this baseless brief. The brief's contention is unjustifiable, since…the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1986 explicitly authorized states to revoke the business licenses of employers that intentionally hire illegal immigrants. In fact, the Ninth Circuit has already upheld the constitutionality of the [2007] Arizona law.

"The solicitor general's action is especially troubling given the Obama Administration's weak record on enforcing federal immigration laws against employers that employ illegal immigrants. Compared to fiscal year 2008, the number of administrative arrests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") in employer-sanctions cases has fallen by 80%, the number of criminal arrests has fallen by 68%, the number of indictments has fallen by 74%, and the number of criminal convictions has fallen by 75%. When ICE does engage in worksite enforcement actions, it allows the illegal workers uncovered simply to walk down the street to the next employer to seek employment.

"If the federal government is abdicating its responsibility to enforce the employer-sanctions law and protect American workers, how can the Administration protest when individual states seek to fill the vacuum in a manner explicitly condoned by Congress in federal law?"

The letter was signed by Reps. Lamar Smith (TX-21), Gary Miller (CA-42), and Sue Myrick (NC-09), co-chairs of the Reclaim American Jobs Caucus and Reps. Marsha Blackburn (TN-07), Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS-04), and Rep. Jack Kingston (GA-01), members of the caucus.

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