Immigration Posses: U.S. Immigration Law and Local Enforcement Practices
21 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008 Last revised: 1 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2008
The failure of the United States Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation at a time when the issue of immigration has reached a boiling point has created an overwhelming demand by citizens for local reform. States have responded by enacting hundreds of laws that regulate immigration at the state-level. This creates significant tension both between states with conflicting laws, which creates havens in some states and rampant enforcement in others, and between states and the federal government, which is ultimately responsible for regulating immigration law. This article examines the history of immigration legislation since the founding of the United States and looks at where the federal and state governments are today in meeting citizen demand for reform. It explores the relationship between state and federal enforcement of immigration law. And finally, it provides recommendations for effective reform and insights into why the current approach is likely to fail.
Keywords: immigration, preemption, constitutional law, enforcement
JEL Classification: J61, K42, K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation