Supreme Court case to affect Mississippi immigration law

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October 14, 2010

By Greg Janetka

JACKSON, Mississippi: The past few months have seen the debate on immigration law take center stage in Mississippi, with state legislators recently holding two days of hearings on the subject. The debate will only be intensified by the recent announcement that the United States Supreme Court will take up a case challenging Arizona's E-Verify law, which requires businesses to check the legal status of employees using the federal E-Verify system.[1]

Fourteen other states, including Mississippi, have similar laws. The Mississippi law, known as the Mississippi Employment Protection Act, was enacted in 2008. Since July 1, 2010, it has required all businesses with over 30 employees to use the E-Verify system to check potential employees, and in a year will require all businesses with fewer than 30 workers to use the system as well. During the recent hearings, however, legislators heard testimony revealing that there has been no investigation to determine if businesses are actually complying with the law.[2]

The Arizona law in question was challenged and subsequently upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in 2008. The Supreme Court accepted the case on appeal. It will be heard on December 8.

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