Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting & Immigration Legislation

Blog Category: Immigration

By: *Elizabeth August

The current immigration debacle has been met with a perfect storm for social upheaval:  high numbers of undocumented immigrants, a severe economic recession and an increased of drug violence at the U.S.-Mexican border.  This “perfect storm” has resulted in several laws passed by states and municipalities designed to tackle the immigration “problem” that many feel the Federal government has been unable to handle.  As Marisa Cianciarulo argues in her article The “Arizonafication” of Immigration Law:  Implications of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting for State and Local Immigration Legislation, there is rhetoric throughout these pieces of legislation that suggests a fear of immigrants being a threat to U.S. sovereignty and culture, as well as contributing to an already dire economy.

Ms. Cianciarulo begins by asserting that the national frustration over immigration comes from perceived national consequences of illegal immigration, as well the perception that the Federal government has failed to handle the problem.  She then examines a number of pieces of legislation from passage at the state or municipal level, through each appeal, concluding with an application of Chamber of Commerce v. Whiting to Arizona’s Immigration law and a municipal law from Hazelton, Pennsylvania (this article was published before the Supreme Court’s decided Arizona v. United States in June, 2012).  She concludes by saying the Supreme Court sidestepped the emotional and political argument in Whiting by basing its decision entirely on federal preemption.

Check out Ms. Cianciarulo’s article at http://harvardllr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/HLA101.pdf.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.

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*Elizabeth August is currently one of the Articles Editor on the Widener Journal of Law, Economics and Race. To learn more about Elizabeth August, click here to view here page: Elizabeth August

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