A Valley Park ordinance ( Gray v. Valley Park, Missouri ) aimed at cracking down on businesses hiring illegal immigrants has been upheld by a three judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 3-0 ruling, the court affirmed a district court ruling affirming that the St. Louis suburb had the right to enact such a law.
University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School Professor Chris Kobach, lead counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, represented Valley Park. Kobach believes says this is an important legal decision.
"We now have an affirmation of the lower court decision that the Valley Park ordinance is completely legal and constitutional," said Kobach in an interview with the Missourinet. "And it has consequences both for the state of Missouri and nationwide."
Valley Park’s ordinance requires businesses to use a federal worker verification program known as E-Verify to maintain business licenses, a component of the state law.
"Missouri’s omnibus immigration bill, that was passed in 2008, includes employment provisions that are very similar – nearly identical in some sections – to the Valley Park ordinance," said Kobach. "Indeed, the Missouri bill was based, in some sections, on the Valley Park ordinance. And so now that the Valley Park case is over and the city is victorious, now the State of Missouri is on unassailable legal grounds in moving ahead – which it already has done – but moving ahead with the law."
The impact of this decision to any community or state, anywhere in the country, is that such laws are legal and constitutional.
"This decision affirms the order of the district court below, and that order holds that a city is within its rights – and a county or a state is also within its rights – to prevent the employers of illegal aliens, the employers of unauthorized aliens, from retaining their businesses licenses."
The American Civil Liberties Union and others that took Valley Park to court have the option of appealing this ruling to the entire Eighth Circuit Court or directly to the United States Supreme Court.