In what has been one of the most debated questions in American political history, the question over state and federal authority is still at the forefront of American political discourse, some 222 years after the ratification of the Constitution.
In this instance, the issue centers over immigration and the power of an individual state to enforce immigration law. Specifically, can local law enforcement officers in Arizona check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws?
A federal judge has recently blocked this portion of a sweeping new immigration law in the state of Arizona. The law is designed to seek out and deport illegal immigrants and has ignited strong arguments on both sides of the issue.
In her decision, Federal District Court Judge Susan Bolton stated that, “requiring Arizona law enforcement officials to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked,” she said.
Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona has said she would appeal the Federal District Court ruling.
Tully Rinckey Partner John Mahoney agreed. “I generally agree with the United States’ position on this issue, which is that immigration law and its enforcement is a federal question that the States should be preempted from legislating about or enforcing.”
The matter will now go before the Federal Appellate Court with some legal experts saying it could make its way to the Supreme Court.
For more information on John Mahoney, go to www.fedattorney.com/jmahoney.html