Arizona v. United States
(defending state enforcement of federal immigration laws)

admin Immigration Law

Arizona enacted a statute, S.B. 1070, authorizing state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws.  The federal government sued Arizona to enjoin S.B. 1070.  The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether federal immigration laws preempt Arizona’s statute.

CLDEF’s amicus curiae brief argues that S.B. 1070 is a constitutional exercise of Arizona’s inherent power of self-preservation, the purpose of which is “attrition” of the numbers of illegal aliens living in Arizona.  As an exercise of the State’s concurrent power over immigration, Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is not preempted by federal law.  Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is an exercise of its constitutional power to engage in war against an actual invasion, and the current illegal immigration into Arizona constitutes an “actual invasion.”  Therefore, Arizona’s “policy of attrition by enforcement” is a proper exercise of its express power to defend against an actual invasion.  Instead of performing its constitutional duty to protect Arizona against invasion, the federal government has undermined the State, placing upon it unfunded mandates that attract illegal aliens into the State, and bestowing benefits upon illegal aliens for political reasons.

On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal immigration regulatory system preempted the state regulation of this area.

CLDEF Amicus Curiae Brief (February 13, 2012)

SCOTUSblog Case Page

Oral Argument (April 25, 2012) transcript

U.S. Supreme Court Opinion (June 25, 2012)