Wednesday, November 13, 2013

De Canas v. Bica case brief

De Canas v. Bica case brief summary
424 U.S. 351 (1976)

Petitioners, migrant farm workers, sought review of a judgment of the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, holding that Cal. Lab. Code § 2805 was unconstitutional because its attempt to regulate conditions for admission of foreign nationals was preempted by the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C.S. § 1101 et seq.

Petitioners, migrant farm workers, brought an action against respondent farm labor contractors on grounds that respondents' refusal to provide them with permanent employment resulted from their employment of known illegal aliens in violation of Cal. Lab. Code § 2805. The lower courts held that § 2805 was an unconstitutionally impermissible attempt to regulate in the field of immigration and naturalization that was preempted by Congress.


  • The Court found that federal regulation should not be deemed preemptive of state regulatory power in the absence of Congress's clear intent to do so or the nature of the regulated subject matter permitted no other conclusion. 
  • The Court concluded that respondents failed to demonstrate anything in the plain language of 8 U.S.C.S. § 1101 et seq., or its legislative history, that warranted the conclusion that it was intended to preempt harmonious state regulation touching on aliens in general, or the employment of illegal aliens in particular. 
  • The Court cited 7 U.S.C.S. § 2041 et seq. in support of that proposition. The Court remanded the question as to whether § 2805 was nonetheless unconstitutional because it impeded federal law.

The judgment was reversed because federal immigration and naturalization laws did not necessarily preempt this field, and states had authority to regulate in this field if those laws were harmonious with the objectives and execution of federal laws. The Court remanded for a determination of whether the state law in question impeded federal law.

Suggested Study Aids and Books

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Evolution of Legal Marketing: From Billboards to Digital Leads Over the last couple of decades, the face of legal marketing has changed a l...