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De Canas v. Bica, 424 U.S. 351 (1976).

A surge of illegal aliens in California has created significant crowding in the state's job market for lawfully resident workers. Some employers have been willing to draw from the illegal labor pool and have hindered the working situation of legally admitted laborers. California enacted section 2805 of the California Labor Code to sever the illegal supply. The legislation prohibits knowing employment of illegal aliens when such employment would adversely affect the job security of lawfully resident workers. In 1976, the statute was challenged in the United States Supreme Court on the ground that it was preempted by the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act. The Supreme Court, in De Canas v. Bica, upheld the constitutionality of section 2805 finding that the California legislation was not preempted by that federal statute. The decision encourages further state regulation of illegal aliens and should stimulate further economic improvement for lawfully resident workers. The decision also indicates a continued effort by the Burger Court to strike a balance in favor of the state when there is a preemption question. This case note will examine De Canas and the general elements of the preemption doctrine, its recent application by the Supreme Court, and its economic impact upon the lawfully resident worker.

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