A U.S. Supreme Court ruling has upheld the right of Arizona to deny a business license to those who have been found to hire undocumented workers, specifically in violation of the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007. "Also upheld was Arizona's requirement that employers check with the federal E-Verify program before hiring new workers." Arizona's tough law on hiring illegals upheld, by David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times.
The article explains that supporters of SB1070 are encouraged by this ruling. But, as quoted in this article, Linton Joaquin (general cousel for the Nation Immigration Law Center) said "State legislators considering this decision a free pass to enact legislation targeting immigrants are gravely mistaken." SB1070 is the law which would allow police officers in Arizona to detain individuals suspected of lacking proper documentation of citizenship. The Supreme Court could rule on SB1070 as early as next year.
I agree with Thom's assessment, that those who hire undocumented workers are at the root of the problem. Essentially, they are attempting to exploit NAFTA in such a way as to render labor laws moot. For the right wing, the law is a tool of power in the most crude sense of the term. When the law does not suit their interests they ignore it. When they gain power, they use it to undo liberal and progressive social gains and consolidate their own economic and political power. This dynamic is what is at the heart of the WTO, a treaty designed to render the U.S. Constitution moot.
Does Jan Brewer have connections to large employers who no longer need undocumented workers and are asking her to lead an immigrant scapegoating movement? I don't know if it's quite that simple, but then again maybe it is.
IMHO, this issue is another example of how no issue can be comprehended without understanding it in relation to other issues. We need to rebuild a progressive movement that recognizes the relationship between, for example, the issues of "free trade" and immigration. We need an activist and legislative agenda which integrates these various concerns into an effective counter-counter revolution.