Court to hear arguments over AZ immigration law

Jacques Billeaud and Mark Sherman
Associated Press
via Breitbart

PHOENIX (AP) – The impassioned debate over the nation’s immigration policy takes center stage at the Supreme Court Wednesday in a dispute over an Arizona law that punishes employers who knowingly hire workers illegally in the U.S.

Prosecutors have used Arizona’s employer sanctions law just three times in three years, but business interests and civil rights groups, backed by the Obama administration, have banded together to argue that only the federal government may enforce immigration laws.

The outcome in this case also could signal how the court would handle the controversial and more expansive Arizona immigration enforcement law, known as SB1070, that the administration challenged and a federal judge blocked key components this summer.

“It could take this less visible case and do something that impacts substantially on the SB1070 litigation by making some broader observations,” said Peter Spiro, who teaches immigration law at Temple University’s law school.

The employer sanctions law was intended to diminish Arizona’s role as the nation’s hub for immigrant smuggling by requiring employers to verify the eligibility of new workers through a federal database. Employers convicted of violating the law can have their business licenses suspended or revoked.

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