Franco Ordonez, the immigration reporter for the McClatchy nationally syndicated news service, looks at the South Carolina immigration law which is tougher than in most states and has also been enforced to a greater extent than in states that have been in the news more (Arizona and Alabama, I'm talking about you).
My colleague Bruce Buchanan (who many of you may know from his compliance blog here at ILW) is quoted at the end of the article regarding the impact of labor relations on state enforcement activity:
Most of the toughest laws are in the South, but observers see the potential of those laws bleeding north.
The matter might return to Kansas, where conservatives have total control of the government.
Michigan and Wisconsin, both of which have conservative governors, recently passed right-to-work laws that limit union activity. Bruce Buchanan, a former trial specialist for the National Labor Relations Board, said the issues might not be the same but the politics were similar.
“I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them go after state immigration laws,” said Buchanan, who now advises employers on immigration compliance for Tennessee-based Siskind Susser. “The argument is the federal government’s not doing their job. We’re going to have to do it for them."
The one bright spot is that momentum really shifted more than a year ago and few states have been successful of late pushing for rules like South Carolina. Some of that is due no doubt to court cases ruling against states and states taking a wait and see approach to what Congress does. And some may be due to the improving health of the US economy. But I have no doubt that the fight in state legislatures on these issues will continue for a while to come.