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Texas Rep. Lamar Smith's letter to DOJ on HB116

Texas Rep. Lamar Smith's letter to DOJ on HB116

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Published by Ben Winslow

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Published by: Ben Winslow on Apr 20, 2011
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04/20/2011

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LAMARS.SMITH,TexasCHAIRMANJOHNCONYERS,JR.,MichiganRANKINGMEMBERF.JAMESSENSENBRENNER,JR.,WisconsinHOWARDCOBLE,NorthCarolinaELTONGALLEGLY,CaliforniaBOBGOODLATTE,VirginiaDANIELE.LUNGREN,CaliforniaSTEVECHABOT,OhioDARRELLE.ISSA,CaliforniaMIKEPENCE,IndianaJ.RANDYFORBES,VirginiaSTEVEKING,IowaTRENTFRANKS,ArizonaLOUIEGOHMERT,TexasJIMJORDAN,OhioTEDPOE,TexasJASONCHAFFETZ,UtahTOMREED,NewYorkTIMGRIFFIN,ArkansasTOMMARINO,PennsylvaniaTREYGOWDY,SouthCarolinaDENNISROSS,FloridaSANDYADAMS,FloridaBENQUAYLE,Arizona
ONEHUNDREDTWELFTHCONGRESS
HOWARD
L.
BERMAN.CaliforniaJERROLDNADLER,NewYorkROBERTC."BOBBY"SCOTT.VirginiaMELVIN
L.
WATT,NorthCarolinaZOELOFGREN,CaliforniaSHEILAJACKSONLEE,TexasMAXINEWATERS,CaliforniaSTEVECOHEN.TennesseeHENRYC."HANK"JOHNSON,JR.,GeorgiaPEDROR.PIERLUISI,PuertoRicoMIKEQUIGLEY,IllinoisJUDYCHU,CaliforniaTEDDEUTCH,FloridaLINDAT.SANCHEZ,CaliforniaDEBBIEWASSERMANSCHULTZ,Florida
Q:ongrr55ofthrtinitro
~tatr5
1A-ousrofRrprrsrntatiors
COMMITTEEONTHEJUDICIARY
2138
RAYBURNHOUSEOFFICEBUILDINGWASHINGTON,
DC20515-6216(202)225-3951
April18,2011TheHonorableEricHolderAttorneyGeneralU.S.DepartmentofJustice950PennsylvaniaAve.,N.W.Washington,D.C.20530DearGeneralHolder,IwritetoaskyoutobringacivilactioninfederalcourttodeclareinvalidandenjointheimplementationofUtahH.B.116aspre-emptedbyfederallawandthereforeinviolationoftheSupremacyClauseoftheUnitedStatesConstitution.YoursilenceregardingtheUtahlawstandsinstarkcontrasttoyourearlycondemnationoftheArizonalawthatinstitutedastateimmigrationenforcementscheme.Infact,yourcriticisminthatinstancecamebeforeyouhadevenreadtheArizonalaw.IftheAdministrationisseriousabouthavingauniformimmigrationpolicyratherthanthe"patchwork"ofstateimmigrationlawsyouprofesstooppose,thentheAdministrationneedstotakeactionagainsttheUtahlaw.OnMarch15,UtahGovernorGaryHerbertsignedintolawH.B.116.Section9ofthislegislationcreatesa"guestworkerprogram".Section13providesthatundertheprogram,an"undocumentedindividual"whohasworkedorlivedinUtahsincebeforeMay10,2011,mayobtainaguestworkerpermitinordertoworkintheState.Section4providesthatan"undocumentedindividual"isapersonwholivesorworksinUtahwhoisnotincompliancewith8U.S.C.sec.1101withregardtopresenceintheUnitedStates.Presumably,thisreferstoillegalimmigrants,alienswhoarenotlawfullypresentintheU.S.Further,section14ofthestatuteprovidesthatguestworkerscanobtain"immediatefamily"permitsfortheir"undocumented"spousesandunmarriedchildrenunder21yearsofage.Section12providesthattheUtahDepartmentofPublicSafety"shallprovideaprocedureunderwhichapersonmayhireanundocumentedindividualwhodoesnotholda[guestworkerorimmediatefamily]permitpendingtheundocumentedindividualobtainingapermitwithin30days"ofbeinghiredand"anundocumentedindividualmaynotprovideservicesunderacontractforhiretoapersonformorethan30daysduringatwo-yearcalendarperiodwithoutobtaininga[guestworkerorimmediatefamily]permit...."Thesectionalsoprovidesthatanundocumentedindividualcannotuseapermitto"obtainworkorprovideservicesinastateotherthanUtah."
1
 
Section21explicitlyprovidesthatanemployermayknowinglyemployanunauthorized(toworkintheu.S.underfederallaw)alienifthealienholdsaguestworkerorimmediatefamilypermitandsection23explicitlyprovidesthatanemployermaynotbeheldcivillyliableunderUtahlawforhiringanalienwithapermitwhosefederallegalstatusdoesnotallowtheemployertohirethealien.TheemploymentofillegalimmigrantsisadirectthreattoAmericanworkers,asanunanimousSupremeCourtrealizedin1976:Employmentofillegalaliensintimesofhighunemploymentdeprivescitizensandlegallyadmittedaliensofjobs;acceptancebyillegalaliensofjobsonsubstandardtermsastowagesandworkingconditionscanseriouslydepresswagescalesandworkingconditionsofcitizensandlegallyadmittedaliens;andemploymentofillegalaliensundersuchconditionscandiminishtheeffectivenessoflaborunions.'EvenAlexanderAleinikoff-ClintonAdministrationINSofficialandnowUnitedNationsDeputyHighCommissionerforRefugees,callsita"myth"that"thereislittleornocompetitionbetweenundocumentedworkersandAmericanworkers.,,2Thus,theImmigrationandNationalityActmakesitunlawfulforanyemployertohireforemploymentintheUnitedStatesanalienknowingthatthealienisanunauthorizedalien,anunauthorizedalienbeinganalienwhoisnotlawfullyadmittedforpermanentresidenceorauthorizedtobeemployedbythefederalgovernment.
3
TheINAalsomakesitunlawfulforanyemployertohireforemploymentintheUnitedStatesanindividualwithoutcomplyingwiththeemploymenteligibilityverificationsystemsetouttopreventthehiringofunauthorizedaliens.
4
TheseprovisionswereenactedaspartoftheImmigrationReformandControlActof1986("IRCA,,).5TheUtahlegislationisindirectconflictwithIRCA.TheSupremeCourthasstatedthat:[I]RCA"forcefully"madecombatingtheemploymentofillegalalienscentralto"[t]hepolicyofimmigrationlaw."...
I
DeCanasv.Bica,424U.S.351,356-57(1976).
2
T.AlexanderAleinikoff,NoIllusions:ParidigmShiftingonMexicanMigrationtotheUnitedStates
in
thePost-9/11World,2005WoodrowWilsonInternationalCenterforScholarsMexicoInstituteat3.
3
Seesections274A(a)(1)(A)and(h)(3)oftheImmigrationandNationalityAct.
4
SeeINAsec.274A(a)(I)(B).
5
SeePubL.No.99-603.
2
 
UndertheIRCAregime,itisimpossibleforanundocumentedalientoobtainemploymentintheUnitedStateswithoutsomepartydirectlycontraveningexplicitcongressionalpolicies.Eithertheundocumentedalientendersfraudulentidentification,whichsubvertsthecornerstoneofIRCA'senforcementmechanism,ortheemployerknowinglyhirestheundocumentedalienindirectcontradictionofitsIRCAobligations."Additionally,theINAcontainsacomprehensiveschemeregardingwhichaliensmaylegallyworkintheUnitedStates,withaprimegoalofprotectingAmericanworkers.Inadditiontopermanentresidents,theINAprovidesalargenumberofnonimmigrantcategoriesinwhichqualifyingaliensmaylegallyworkintheU.S.
7
Italsoprovidesinstancesinwhichotherwiseunlawfullypresentaliensarepermittedtowork."TheINArequiresthat:AnyalienwhoseekstoentertheUnitedStatesforthepurposeofperformingskilledorunskilledlaborisinadmissible,unlesstheSecretaryofLaborhasdetermined...that...therearenotsufficientworkerswhoareable,willing,qualified...andavailableatthetimeofapplication...attheplacewherethealienistoperformsuchskilledorunskilledlabor,and...theemploymentofsuchalienwillnotadverselyaffectthewagesandworkingconditionsofworkersintheUnitedStatessimilarlyemployed."AlltheselawsareexclusivelywithinCongress'constitutionalpowers.ArticleI,section8,clause4oftheConstitutiongivesCongressthepowerto"establishanuniformRuleofNaturalization",andtheSupremeCourthaslongfoundthatthisprovisionoftheConstitutiongrantsCongressplenarypoweroverimmigrationpolicy.AstheCourtfoundinGalvanv.Press,"thattheformulationofpolicies[pertainingtotheentryofaliensandtheirrighttoremainhere]isentrustedexclusivelytoCongresshasbecomeaboutasfirmlyimbeddedinthelegislativeandjudicialtissuesofourbodypoliticasanyaspectofourgovemment.t''"And,astheCourtfoundinKleindienstv.Mandel,"[t]heCourtwithoutexceptionhassustainedCongress''plenarypower.tomakerulesfortheadmissionofaliensandtoexcludethosewhopossessthosecharacteristicswhichCongresshasforbidden.:"!'CongresshasclearlyexerciseditsconstitutionallyauthoritythroughtheINA,asyourJusticeDepartmentarguedinitscomplaintfiledagainsttheArizonalaw:CongresshasexerciseditsauthoritytomakelawsgoverningimmigrationandthestatusofalienswithintheUnitedStatesbyenactingthevariousprovisionsoftheINAandotherlawsregulatingimmigration.ThroughtheINA,CongresssetforththeframeworkbywhichthefederalgovernmentdetermineswhichaliensmaybeeligibletoenterandresideintheUnitedStates...conditionsofresidence,andemploymentofaliens....
6
HoffmanPlasticsv.NationalLaborRelationsBoard,535U.S.137,147-48(2002).
7
See,
M,.,
INAsees,101(a)(15)(H)(i)(b),(H)(ii)(b),(L).
8
See,
M,.,
INAsec.244(a)(1)(B).
9
INAsec.212(a)(5)(A)(i).
10
347U.S.522,531(1954).11408U.S.753,766(1972)(quotingBoutilierv.INS,387U.S.118,123(1967)).
3

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