De Canas v. Bica

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In De Canas v. Bica, 424 U.S. 351, 356-357 (1976), the unanimous U.S. Supreme Court reversed a finding of unconstitutionality of California Labor Code Ann. § 2805(a), which provided that:

"[N]o employer shall knowingly employ an alien who is not entitled to lawful residence in the United States if such employment would have an adverse effect on lawful resident workers."

The Court, in an opinion written by Justice William Brennan, rejected claims that § 2805(a) is unconstitutional either because it is an attempt to regulate immigration and naturalization or because it is preempted under the Supremacy Clause, Art. VI, cl. 2, of the U.S. Constitution, by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 66 Stat. 163, as amended, 8 U.S.C. § 1101 et seq., the comprehensive federal statutory scheme for regulation of immigration and naturalization.

The Court remanded for a finding if the state law can be enforced consistent with federal law.

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