Argumentative Essay: Tough Immigration Laws In The United States

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amount of support from a short-handed Supreme Court Wednesday. States throughout the country considering their own tough immigration laws are closely following the proceedings over what has become a thorny issue. Fed up with illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico -- and what they say is the federal government's inability to stop it -- legislators in Arizona passed a tough immigration law. The federal government sued, saying that Arizona overreached. "If, in fact, somebody who does not belong in this country is in Arizona, Arizona has no power?" asked Justice Antonin Scalia. "What does sovereignty mean if it does not include the ability to defend your borders?" Even liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor told the federal governments' lawyer…show more content…
Backers say illegal immigration has created public safety and economic crises. At issue is whether states have any authority to step in to enforce immigration matters or whether that is the exclusive role of the federal government. In dry legal terms, this constitutional question is known as pre-emption. Other states watch for outcome Paul Clement, lawyer for Arizona, told the high court the federal government has long failed to control the problem, and that states have discretion to assist in enforcing immigration laws. But the Obama administration's solicitor general, Donald Verrilli, strongly countered that assertion, saying immigration matters are under the federal government's exclusive authority and state "interference" would only make matters worse. Several other states followed Arizona's lead by passing laws meant to deter illegal immigrants. Similar laws are under challenge in lower courts in Georgia, Alabama, Utah, Indiana and South Carolina. Arizona's appeal is the first to reach the Supreme Court. Arizona is the nation's most heavily traveled corridor for illegal immigration and smuggling. Opinion: What if justices let states make immigration policy? Justice Elena Kagan did not hear this case. Before taking the bench last year, she had been involved in the administration's initial legal opposition to the law as solicitor general. A 4-4

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