State governments as well as local governments have commenced to impose new laws with regard to immigration and moreover they are strictly enforcing these laws. Any infringement of these laws could result in the withdrawal of the license of firms, companies and other local business organizations. In addition, business firms could be subjected to heavy penalties for violating state and local immigration laws. Moreover, the business firms are prohibited from employing illegal immigrants (Bazar, 2007).
The Federal Government made an attempt to overhaul the system of immigration but could not attain its objective. On the other hand the state and local governments implemented legislation that imposed more restrictions on immigrants. In order to streamline this process, a bill was presented in the Senate but it failed to get passed. At that juncture the labor commissioner of Georgia, Michael Thurmond commented that a political vacuum prevailed in restructuring the immigration law at the federal level and that the state and local governments were taking advantage of this situation (Bazar, 2007).
The National Conference of State Legislatures claimed that fifty– seven new immigration laws had been passed by eighteen states in the year 2007. Reports of the American Civil Liberties Union stated that twenty five cities and counties had imposed stringent measures without heeding to the representations of business organizations and civil rights groups. All these laws and measures concerned employers.
In this context, the president of Green Bay City Council, Chad Fradette stated that the fundamental presumption of these ordinances was to discourage illegal immigrants from entering the city and procuring a job (Bazar, 2007). Moreover, the Green Bay city imposed an ordinance effective from the 23rd of June, 2007 that restricted immigrants from procuring a job in the city. Under this new ordinance, business firms would lose their licenses if they employed illegal immigrant workers, since this prevents the city’s workforce from obtaining employment (Bazar, 2007).
An instance of action taken against employers was the demand of the city union of the employees, which asked the authorities to punish the owners of two restaurants in the city that had employed foreign nationals. According to Green Bay Alderman, the new ordinance proved to be a curse to both legal and illegal immigrant workers. Gary Kubic, the administrator of Beaufort County, stated that the county had planned to audit the records of employment for the month of August, 2007. This county had passed an ordinance that prohibited the employment of illegal foreign workers by business firms.
Further, this ordinance provided for the revocation of the license of any firm that violated this ordinance. This measure was proposed by a former county councilwoman, Starlettal Hairston. She was of the opinion that companies employing illegal immigrants would have a competitive advantage (Bazar, 2007). An ordinance was passed by the state of Georgia, which requires companies having five hundred or more workers and having business with the government, to prove the legal status of their newly employed workers.
Colorado, Arizona and other states are also insisting upon the verification of the legal status of workers. Business owners in Payson, Arizona, are required to submit affidavits stating that they employ only legal workers, in the course of renewing their business licenses (Bazar, 2007). In Hazelton, Pa. , a new ordinance has been passed that would impose heavy penalties on business owners who employ illegal immigrant workers and on landlords who let rent out property to them.
However, this ordinance was stayed by the court following a suit filed by the ACLU. Moreover, this law violates the US Constitution, because Federal Law cannot be rescinded by the states or local governments. Furthermore, this principle is applicable to the new laws proposed or passed by state and local governments. Since business owners and immigrant workers are not permitted to appeal against the laws made by local and state governments, such legislation would be tantamount to discrimination (Bazar, 2007).