Overheard on CNN.com: Top court rules in Arizona's favor
The U.S. Supreme Court has backed an Arizona law that punishes businesses hiring illegal immigrants.
May 26th, 2011
07:15 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Top court rules in Arizona's favor

Comments of the Day:

“It is about time that these American companies are held accountable for their actions. After all, they have been unwilling to pay fair wages to American citizens and instead have paid dirt-low wages to illegal immigrants.”– sam49

“When illegal immigrants provide the backbone of produce production in the United States at costs far below minimum wage, that benefits those legally here. Wave your pom-poms for change all you want, but be sure you understand what you're changing.”– GeorgeFnBush

Supreme Court backs Arizona immigration law that punishes businesses

Arizona can suspend the licenses of Arizona businesses that don't verify that new hires are in the country legally, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Many CNN.com readers, including self-proclaimed liberals, cheered the ruling.

rosalvaje said, “Hurray for Arizona and coming to a state near you.” ChrisDawg said, “As a liberal, I'm fine with this.” OutNasa said, “This ruling is pro legal immigrant. I applaud it.” NCArmyVet1 said, “We welcome all immigrants who come here legally!” notrolls said, “It looks like even the Supreme Court is capable of grasping the concept that it is illegal to be illegal.”

But JJNOLA said, “Congratulations AZ. You just gave your businesses away to other border states. Guest141414 replied, “Only those that willingly violate federal laws. It's not much of a loss, really.”

Serene1111 said, “They will just jump ship from Arizona and move to other states which don't have the same laws.” VanKrunk replied, “Yes, they already are, and we here in Arizona wish to thank places like Colorado for offering them a nice place to stay.”

Some readers argued over whether American workers will really benefit from the jobs illegal immigrants leave behind. strawberry33 said, “Americans did these jobs before we got overrun with illegals that would do it cheaper.” OutNasa said, “Once illegals are removed from the employment equation, unemployment offices can align the able with part-time gardening jobs while they look for work. There will always be someone to do the work for an illegal.”

But MACVINDANANG replied, “Not true at all! The United Farm Workers of America, a predominantly Hispanic union, launched its ‘Take Our Jobs’ campaign in response to anti-immigrant rhetoric. It offered to place native-born workers in farm jobs. Several thousand Americans responded to the online ad, but only two actually accepted the backbreaking, low-paying jobs.”

Guest141414 said, “Obviously, the wages for the jobs will have to be raised, as businesses cannot hire legal workers for less than minimum wage, as they do when they exploit illegal immigrants. Once that happens, I think you'll be surprised.” Guest said, “This will increase landscaping costs for me.”

Why is America the 'no-vacation nation'?

Employees in Germany, France, United Kingdom, Brazil and many other industrialized countries enjoy at least four weeks of guaranteed vacation yearly. Employees in the United States might get two weeks plus a handful of holidays, but time off is not required by U.S. law. Why is the United States so down on down time?

GM1966 replied, “Corporate greed. The company I work for offers two weeks' paid vacation but there are too many strings attached to actually take the time off and if you don't use it, you lose it.”

MapleMike said, “As long as America believes that ‘what's good for businesses is good for the country,’ this situation will never change. Corporations have zero interest in improving the health of American society by giving people more vacation. This kind of change can only be mandated by a government.”

DrRational said, “American workers not only vote against their own best interests, they get out in the streets and protest against them. Convinced that unions and regulations are the enemy, we march into dangerous working conditions so our corporate leaders can get ever-larger salaries.“ truth109 said, “Vacation? More and more jobs in America are contract jobs, and these jobs offer no benefits like vacation or health insurance.”

But some readers spoke up for the American model. Savannah2424 said, “There's also the difference between the tax rates in the U.S, and in Europe. Do you want to pay 70% of your income so someone else can have a vacation?” MainStreet76 said, “You have to make sacrifices to make it in America, and yes, vacations are included in those sacrifices.” goodflag said, “I am an American living in Slovenia, and all is not as wonderful as it seems. True, there is lots of vacation, but at a cost. Employers are reluctant to hire because of the heavy demands placed on them per each employee.”

jellomizer said, “American culture has what we do for work as a key part of our self identity. If you ask most Americans to describe themselves the first thing they will say is what type of job they do.”

Those who had experienced other ways of living and working shared their experiences. jezza10000 said, “I'm originally from the UK but live in DC now. In the UK all employers must give four weeks as a minimum, required by law. The land of the 'free' apparently has no free time. I think it's sad how people live for their jobs here, and I get so bored hearing my American friends talking about work all the time."

ffhd1clt said, “When I started traveling for work internationally years ago, I realized the vacation thing was much different outside the USA. I was mostly traveling to South American countries, and the norm in countries like Chile and Argentina is to take a full month off during the summer.”

Weebie said, "I earn 3-4 times doing the same job in Sydney than I would in New York. Americans are some of the lowest paid workers in the world, with some countries such as Poland and Malaysia very close to surpassing the salaries for Americans."

Kynt said, “That's not all. In many European countries people get paid sick leave on top of the 4-6 weeks paid vacation, meaning they can use their vacation for actually recharging their batteries. They don't have to use vacation time when they're too sick to work. In Western Europe every dock worker and truck driver is entitled to paid vacation and sick leave.”

Lightmaster said, “I'm a normal worker in Germany. If I get sick at work I can go home and get paid for the day. If my illness continues, I can get a free medical card from the doctor and stay up to six weeks at home or hospital and get 100% income. Why are you against public health insurance?”

ScottNH said, “A friend of mine was fired for calling in sick too much, was then diagnosed with cancer and is now in end-stage with a month or two left to live. If she had been in France, Israel, Singapore, Denmark, or Japan she would have received medical treatment. Are Americans worth less?”

soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. fernace

    I'm a legal immigrant & it took my family 3 yrs. to go thru the immigration process. The reason we have illegals in this country is a) it's the Promise Land, b) there are so many inhuman regimes people want to escape from, c) this is an "immigrant nation." The whole World resides here! While I belive in & honor the immigration process there are people who want to be here so badly thatthey are willing to be illegal, worrying about "la migra" every day,& even if it takes them 3 yrs. to get here, walking, swimming or getting rides from "coyotes". Americans are lucky to never have to feel that type of desperation. As far as the low paying jobs they perfom, this country has been built on that premise & be truthful, we certainly wont line up at the corner, hoping to get hired for one of these backbreaking jobs , no matter how bad the economy gets! The measures taken by the high courts are empty gestures. It wont deter illegals & it wont make them return to the squalor they escaped from!

    May 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean Sartre

      Perhaps you are right... however their are ALWAYS a million and one EXCUSES for BREAKING the LAW.

      I feel your pain; also, please know that the USA simply does NOT have the RESOURCES, FINANCES or ROOM to bring the rest of the world's population into the PROMISED LAND. At some point, there is a limit and these people need to work in their own native countries to make things better for themselves and their families...

      May 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil in Oregon

      They need to make it harder to work, draw welfare, and get their children educated.. With less money to go around, the illegals will be less willing to die in the desert to get here. That will leave mostly drug smugglers as the ones using the trails.

      June 23, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nan

    Look at Operation Wetback. Hoover, Truman and Eisenhower. When we've had no jobs and were in a deep recession, these presidents did what they thought was best.

    May 27, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. CarmanK

    AZ won't enforce the law against employers, it is an excuse to increase the pressure to have the POLICE check ID's. Most police officers are not interested in stopping people because they "look illegal". They are more interested in doing their jobs protecting the citizenry from real criminals. AZ has a private prison system and this is going to cost state taxpayers a huge amount of money. Money that would be better spent invested in creating jobs through improvements in infrasturre. It is interesting that Gov Jan Brewer and the state legislature cuts funds for organ transplant patient to fund the prison system. Two have died because of that defunding. That makes AZ a state that murders by legislature. Criminals are guaranteed their day in court, potential organ transplant patients have no such justice, they just DIE.

    June 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Smiles70

    I have been laid off 2 times in the last 2 years and can't find a job, I am a native to this country and my choices have been taken away because most bussiness are now using Temporary employment agencies to find them employees. if I want a job I now have to go through an agency that will take half of my wages because there are so many illegal aliens using fake SS#'s and companies don't want to have their Human Resource department do their job of reading resumes,do backround checks and drug screenings! My freedom and rights to get a job have been violated because of this! Who wants to give half of their earnings to someone else?????? I don't but if I want a job thats what I have to do! Now all these temp agencies have a MONOPLY on the workforce because ALL aliensfrom other countries want to come to THE PROMISED LAND and the government has pushed the NATIVE CITIZENS aside to fend for ourselves,while many aliens have a big screen t.v., drive new cars,have a 12 pack in the fridge and are on welfare, medicare or low income housing with thier husbands or boyfriends working! How is that right?

    June 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
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