The Prevailing Culture Over Immigration: Centralized Immigration and Policies between Attrition and Accommodation
Seton Hall Circuit Review, Volume 13:5, 2017
16 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2016 Last revised: 1 Feb 2017
Date Written: October 11, 2016
In 2012, the Supreme Court delivered a decision in Arizona v. United States that attracted the interested of the press because it challenged a controversial immigration law which a number of states copied. Although faced with an opportunity to speak about immigration policy reform, the Court ruled on preemption issues instead. The case is still important, however, because the prevailing culture surrounding immigration is enshrined within its content. This article argues that there is a twofold divide in the legal culture surrounding immigration. The Court’s decision explicitly confirms the “centralization” trend, that is the need for central decision making instead of allowing for state-specific polices. Alternatively, this case implicitly confirms the rise of a new dipole in immigration policies between attrition through enforcement and accommodation through massive or limited amnesty. At first glance, this case seems to have limited precedential value. However, it encapsulates the present status quo of immigration policies in the US and the dipole in the political debate between attrition and accommodation, and it embodies the immigration acquis.
Keywords: Arizona v. United States; legal culture; attrition; accommodation
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