Thursday, May 26, 2011


The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) affirmed or upheld the prior courts’ decision (both district court and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) in the case of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting. This law suit was part of the Arizona 1070 law that passed a couple of years ago forcing all Arizona employers to use E-Verify or they will lose their business license.
The Chamber of Commerce of the United States and various business and civil rights organizations (collectively Chamber) filed this federal pre-enforcement suit against those charged with administering the Arizona law, arguing that the state law’s license suspension and revocation provisions were both expressly and impliedly preempted by federal immigration law, and that the mandatory use of E-Verify was impliedly preempted by federal law. The District Court found that the plain language of IRCA’s preemption clause did not invalidate the Arizona law because the law did no more than impose licensing conditions on businesses operating within the State. Nor was the state law preempted with respect to E-Verify, the court concluded, because although Congress had made the program voluntary at the national level, it had expressed no intent to prevent States from mandating participation. The Ninth Circuit affirmed and SCOTUS affirmed too.
What does it mean? It means that based on this decisions states can mandate businesses within the state to use E-Verify as a condition for a business license. For us in Georgia it means that the E-Verify requirement in HB87 is here to stay and it will be futile to argue or sue about it in Federal Court. It doesn’t mean the other provisions will stay (especially about show me your papers) but the E-Verify requirement is solid and here to stay.
So, if you are an employer (or employer representative) or you know of one in need of assistance in registering for or operating E-Verify, please contact our office at 770-913-0800 or go to our Atlanta office website at:

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