As Congress wages a battle over illegal immigration and its impact on this nation, the Supreme Court is about to enter the fray in a context involving one of the law’s most powerful weapons — RICO.

In 1996, Congress expanded the reach of RICO — the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — to include violations of federal immigration law. A decade later, the justices this month will consider whether a corporation and its outside recruiters, alleged to have engaged in the systematic recruiting and hiring of illegal workers, can constitute an “enterprise” under RICO. Mohawk Industries v. Williams, No. 05-465.

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