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. we already have public health insurance

    Over half of US work for the government. Then there's everyone on social security and medicaid. The rest of us pay for it all, and pay up the wazoo for health insurance, even though WE are the healthy ones!

    May 26, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hey

      Now I cant let that by. Half of the people work for the US government? I highly doubt that. I saw sources that say about 2 million civlians (not including military) work for the US. Just spit balling something doesn't make it true.

      May 27, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. we already have public health insurance

    ...well, we don't actually pay for it all. We borrow from other nations. It's what we mean when we say our kids will pay for it. We are those 'kids' now, but we simply can't afford everything like before. It's crunchtime.

    May 26, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • leeintulsa

      They couldn't afford it before, either, that's why we're paying for it now.

      May 26, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. magyart

    I applaud this decision by the Supreme Court and hope that most states pass similar laws. Although, I would rather see federal legislation forcing all employers to use E-Verify for all employees. The federal SAVE Act would accomplish this.

    Nothing in this law conflicts or preempts federal law, as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Attorney General claimed. The court ruled the state is on "correct" legal grounds when state law mirrors federal law. This ruling may be a good indicator the SB1070 will be upheld.

    Visit Numbers USA and ALIPAC websites and help fight illegal immigration.

    May 26, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      I'm not up for your mark of the beast notions for an legal american citizen to get a job. Nor am I up for you hiding your boimertric techno deception behind the issue of illegal immigrants...

      May 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. fred

    End legal immigration now! (and medicate tailgaters. make it mandatory)

    May 26, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  5. (required)

    @Fred:
    End legal immigration? Lol!

    May 26, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. (required)

    @Fred:
    ....Not to mention the tailgaters most likely to be medicated one substance or another....

    May 26, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Juan Gonzales

    jes i agree weet wat ju sae.

    May 26, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Juan Gonzales

    My cheby peekup no hav talegate lonmower fals out... .

    May 26, 2011 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. BrarHopper

    Now if the Supreme Court would just rule that it is legal for Arizona to order all able bodied persons on welfare to pick them out one of those jobs.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      At a living wage, with breaks and a place to rest in the shade. It's easy to say, "Make them work for it!", when it's not your back.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. James Allen

    You know what? We have LAWS and BORDERS which, as a sovereign nation, we uphold. Just has much as the US Government holds the average American to. So in turn, we as Americans EXPECT our government to uphold and ENFORCE the laws against any group of people trying to force their way into our country. We are a LAW ABIDING SOCIETY. It's what we're FOUNDED UPON, and what makes us tick.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      We're also apparently a country founded on upholding idiotic laws at astronomical expense - and at the expense of other more important public services such as education –for no good reason at all. *cough* immigration *cough* war on drugs *cough cough*

      May 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joey

    I'm surprised that employers would not want their workers to have vacations and good working conditions.
    My reasons are entirely selfish: you get MUCH better work out of someone that you treat well.
    Stingy is stupid.

    May 26, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      Yup. My husband's company makes $1mil in revenue every day. Every... single... day. And once a year they send the entire company of 200+ and their families on a 9-day company paid vacation, in addition to good salaries, fantastic bonuses, excellent healthcare, and pretty much unlimited PTO. They've been able to do this every year for a decade, even as the company has grown by leaps and bounds. Too bad other companies haven't figured out that when you treat your employees like assets, NOT as liabilities, they have a tendency to make you a whole lot of money.

      May 26, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Are you kidding me? US Supreme Court supports punishing business who hire ILLEGAL immigrants?

    It's like saying a court punishes criminals for doing ILLEGAL activities... No REALLY?

    May 26, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey

    A brilliant pupil who came from Spain about three years ago has struggled to stay here to study singing privately with me, staying in universities to keep a student visa.
    Now that he is being hired by opera companies, he no longer has to worry.
    He always refused to be here illegally, paid his dues, and will be an asset to our country.
    It's possible to get into America legally: it's just much harder than sneaking in.

    May 26, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • whatever

      There are many future American citizens who find it very frustrating to wait in line and play by the rules. They often ask why should they since so many mexicans come illegally and nothing is really done about it. Their family hides them and they gang up on anyone who thinks its wrong to be here illegally. You can't get sense into a sympathizer.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzzzz

    There are reasons for Rules... The wide road can lead you astray but the narrow road can keep you on Gods path. Boy don't know how I got from illegal immigration to I paraphrasing from the Bible but that's me for ya. He He

    May 26, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  15. LEB

    Just open up the borders, let people who are willing to work for cheap come in. Guarantee them minimum wage, but let them come if they want to and take the jobs native-borns don't want. Then they'll earn more money than they ever could at home, Mexico will start buying more and more goods from the US because they can now afford it, their standard of living rises enabling them to buy more stuff, Mexico's economy grows and stabilizes, crime rates drop, education improves, more skilled workers are created, and the US saves billions on border security, as well as gaining millions of new potential customers to buy our products/services and bolster our own economy. Then badda bing, badda boom, no more 3rd world country at our southern border, no more tax dollars wasted on keeping willing workers out, and no more snuffing out of potential revenue sources over an inflated sense of jingoistic pride.

    Oh, who am I kidding? Time to come to my senses... THEY TIIRRRK ERRR JEERRBS!!

    May 26, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • John T.

      Then you have to do that for the next country who borders with mexico then the next country then before you know it the entire South America continent are all in the U.S.
      While your at it we can let the terrorist know that the easiest way for them to come to the U.S. is through Mexico since we are going to open the borders.

      May 27, 2011 at 12:59 am | Report abuse |
    • obsthetimes

      A recent survey estimated that 1.5 billion people want to migrate to America.
      Why must we let this particular group of illegals break the law?
      Taking care of the poor of mexico who will require US style education and healthcare will require untold trillions.

      May 27, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
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