Opinion: What if justices let states make immigration policy?
This week the Supreme Court is hearing arguments on the Justice Department's challenge to Arizona's immigration law.
April 24th, 2012
01:06 PM ET

Opinion: What if justices let states make immigration policy?

Editor's note: Tamar Jacoby, a fellow at the New America Foundation, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners in favor of immigration reform.

By Tamar Jacoby, Special to CNN

(CNN) - As recently as six years ago, it was conventional wisdom among lawyers, legislators and policy advocates that the states had no role in setting immigration policy. Since then, there has been a federalist revolution of historic proportions.

One-third of the states now mandate that some employers enroll in the federal employment verification program, E-Verify. Seven states require it of all but the smallest employers. Five have enacted policing laws similar to Arizona's SB 1070 that allow local police to inquire about the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons who they suspect are in the country illegally.

No wonder the Supreme Court is weighing in, hearing arguments this week on the Justice Department's challenge to SB 1070. Refereeing turf battles between Washington and the states is one of the court's first responsibilities.

Read Tamar Jacoby's full column 

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Byron

    I think it should be up to the Supreme Court to set the immigration laws. As we have seen with Arizona when states set these kinds of things there can be a harshness to it all. I dont see a problem with them coming and wanting to work in jobs that "we dont want". i realize they dont pay taxes or anything like that but i'm sure we could all work something out to where it could work for both sides.

    May 18, 2012 at 8:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Martin J.

    well they are all coming to united states of america not the united states of arizona ,
    united states texas or united states of New Mexico,
    it's quiet time to set things straight for this whole country after all,
    while in the meantime illegal immigration is on all time low,
    ain't that funny ?

    ..sooner or later the problem
    seems to be fixing itself !

    April 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John

    It would be great if they just let states enforce the federal laws that already exist. One would assume that the federal government would welcome the help, post 9/11.

    April 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |