Missouri Attorney General Goes to Bat for Arizona's Immigration Law
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Chis Koster announced today he is leading a 13-state group of attorneys general in filing a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Arizona's immigration laws.
According to the Missouri AG, the challenge to the controversial Arizona law could impact the way Missouri and other states deal with undocumented immigrants. In 2008 Missouri legislators passed one of the nation's toughest laws on undocumented workers that, among other things, threatened to prosecute business owners who knowingly hired unauthorized immigrants.
In a statement today, Koster reiterated his support for such laws.
"One of the ways Missouri and other states have addressed the problem is to enact laws prohibiting employers from hiring illegal aliens. These laws are important to protecting our citizens, and they serve as a complement to existing federal laws."
Koster's brief to the court points out that states have sovereign authority to license and regulate businesses and professions - an authority Congress recognized in the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) - and to revoke the licenses of those who violate state or federal law. Therefore, the states are within their rights to pass and enforce such laws.
The other states that joined Missouri in filing the brief are Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia.