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High Court declines certiorari in two immigration cases

Many residents off the Chicago area with an interest in immigration reform may have followed with apprehension the efforts of some towns in the United States to take immigration reform into their own hands.

Believing that the federal government is being too lax with those who are seeking new opportunities in this country without documentation, at least two of these towns' governing bodies passed laws that required tenants to be produce some sort of ID that could later be screened by federal immigration officers. They would further sanction property owners who chose either to employ or house people who happened to lack documentation to live and work in the United States. One went further, targeting business owners who knowingly employ unlawful immigrants for penalties.

Federal courts struck down both of the laws in question, reasoning that immigration laws, and the enforcement thereof, are primarily within the scope of the federal government's authority. Thus, the towns did not have the authority to pass this type of punitive immigration law directed at immigrants.

Now, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear further appeals in the case, effectively meaning that the towns' laws are invalid. While immigration reform advocates may see this as a victory, an ordinance passed in another community did survive a constitutional challenge. This law, however, does not target immigrants themselves but business owners and other people who may indirectly "harbor" illegal immigrants.

Being an immigrant, can be a difficult, stressful situation, particularly as the national spotlights continues to shine brightly on this contentious issue and immigration law continues to undergo changes. Thankfully, for those in need of assistance, help may be available through the advice and advocacy of an experienced immigration attorney.

Source: Reuters, "U.S. Supreme Court declines immigration cases," Lawrence Hurley, March 2, 2014

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Godoy Olivieri, Ltd.-An immigration law firm

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