Federal Law Pre-Empts Local Law Re: Illegal Immigration

Legislation is moving through the Tennessee senate right now that would heavily penalize businesses for hiring illegal immigrants. Bill SB0202, sponsored by State Sen. Bill Ketron (R), would impose a $10,000 fine on employers who are found to hire illegal immigrants.

However, in Attorney General Bob Cooper’s opinion, the legislation will be unenforceable. Cooper’s opinion cites a federal law that explicitly states that federal immigration law “pre-empts any state or local law imposing civil or criminal sanctions” on those who recruit or hire illegal immigrants.

It looks like the law has it that illegal immigrants are a national problem, addressable only by national laws… even though the effects of illegal immigration are felt locally. Something about it doesn’t seem equal…

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