Supreme Court to hear challenge of Arizona immigration law

On Dec. 12, the Supreme Court said it would review Arizona's restrictive immigration law, according to The Washington Post. Signed in April 2010, the controversial law has inspired other states to follow Arizona's lead.

The Department of Justice has challenged the law and blocked the law's most controversial elements in lower courts. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that Arizona was trying to implement immigration enforcement that is the role of the federal government.

The appeals court blocked four elements of the new law, including making it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and failing to register with the federal government; making it illegal to seek work or working without authorization; requiring state and local officers to try to determine the status of someone arrested, stopped or detained if they believe the individual may be in the U.S. illegally; and allowing warrantless arrest of anyone whom they have probable cause to believe may have broken laws that would make them deportable under federal law.

Arizona told the Supreme Court justices that its law was intended to cooperate with federal laws to control illegal immigration—not take power from the federal government.

However, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. says the provisions blocked by the appeals court "do not represent an effort to cooperate with the federal government in enforcing federal immigration law. Instead, they are designed to establish Arizona's own immigration policy."

When Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) signed the law, she described it as a way for Arizona to "solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix."

The Department of Justice has filed suit against similar laws in Alabama, South Carolina and Utah and is reviewing laws in other states.

The Supreme Court is likely to hear the Arizona case by April 2012 and issue a decision before July 2012.

Date : 12/13/2011