Papers, Please: Does the Constitution Permit the States a Role in Immigration Enforcement?
25 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2017
Date Written: 2012
This Essay explores the legal challenges two immigration bills, Arizona’s 2010 S.B. 1070 and Alabama’s 2011 H.B. 56, and addresses how the Department of Justice (DOJ) fundamentally misunderstands the nature of state sovereignty and federalism, and concludes that, with the possible exception of one provision of the Arizona law, the states are acting well within their authority to protect the health, safety, and welfare of their residents without intruding on the plenary power over immigration and naturalization that the U.S. Constitution vests in Congress.
Keywords: Immigration, state sovereignty, separation of powers, federalism, plenary power
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