Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentPolitics · 10 years ago

Immigration question: Congress establishes a rule of law for immigration, but states enforce it?

okay, I'm a little ignorant so tell me something I don't already know

Article 1, section 8, congress has the power to provide a uniform rule of naturalization.


the states are the ones to enforce this law?

So if Arizona is following federal law, how is their law unconstitutional?

Tell me where I have it wrong please.


lilly, that case seems to have something to do with employment.

10 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    States don't enforce federal law, the federal government does. Immigration falls under the jurisdiction of the federal govt. States don't have anything to do with it.

  • 10 years ago

    America's official title is "The United States of America" meaning that it is--at the current moment--fifty separate governments working together to form a Federal Government that rules over all. States, individually, have the right to challenge the laws of the Federal Government & choose to enforce these laws or not. Conversely, the Federal Government has the power to over-rule the individual State's objections to these laws.

    In the past we can look at "separate but equal" as a time when individual States--those with segregation--chose to challenge the laws of the Federal Government & were eventually overturned.

    Or, to make a case for my generation we can look at same sex unions--& I'm sorry to those that disagree with my support of it, I don't intend to be controversial--the majority of the population supports same sex unions, however many of the lesser populated states are still admittedly, loudly, against it. This makes it very hard for a bill to be passed at the federal level to support same sex unions. The result is a state-by-state decision that will most likely result in a federal law in the far future forcing all 50 states to honor same sex unions.

    Sometimes all the Federal Government does is pass a law & leave it to the states to enforce said federal law. Here again I point to segregation as an example of states not enforcing a federal law.

    The Arizona law is not unconstitutional, exactly. Arizona has the right, as a state, to challenge any laws the federal government puts in place. What is unconstitutional is the way that Arizona is enforcing the law. Here it is violating the constitutional rights of the citizens of Arizona (many of which are Latino & lived in the State before it was even a US territory). As a white man (that does not constantly carry proof of citizenship unless traveling abroad) my rights are not violated. However, if i was a Latino of who knows how many generations back my parents lived in the United States, I would be stopped & forced to carry proof of citizenship.

    This brings us back to the Civil Rights movement & the 18th Amendment. What Arizona is doing, in essence is challenging the rights of citizens won by the Civil Rights movement which actually has its roots in the end of the Civil War.

    Arizona is perfectly within its rights as a state in the US to do what it is doing, the people of Arizona are within their rights to challenge the new law, & the Federal Government is within its rights to deem what Arizona is doing as unconstitutional.

    I'm sorry it's so long, I hope that helps. And again, I'm not attempting to be controversial, just to answer a complicated question. I am sorry if I offended anyone, on any point.

  • 10 years ago

    How many times are you going to post this question? No, states do NOT enforce immigration law. the law is unconstitutional. The new law allows officers to question someone based on the way they look.. that's not following federal law or the constitution.

    The Supreme Court has ruled that the Congressional power to regulate naturalization, in Article 1, Section 8, includes the power to regulate immigration (see, for example, Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, 426 U.S. 88 [1976]). It would not make sense to allow Congress to pass laws to determine how an immigrant becomes a naturalized resident if the Congress cannot determine how that immigrant can come into the country in the first place.

    There is also an argument that immigration is an implied power of any sovereign nation, and as such, the federal government has the power to regulate immigration because the United States is a sovereign nation. While it is true that the United States is a sovereign nation, and it may be true that all sovereign nations have some powers inherent in that status, it is not necessary to determine if immigration is such a power that does not even require constitutional mention, because the Naturalization Clause handles the power.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The states law is not unconstitutional and will be affirmed in the courts. The law in no way impedes the federal government from enforcing their duties, nor does it run contrary to established law. It does on the other hand highlight the Feds abdication of it's responsibilities and this is where the government has it's problem. They would like to keep ignoring the border and flooding the country will illegal voters and cheap labor. Enforcing the law will impede both these objectives.

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  • Lucy
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Yes. The Supreme Court has ruled that the Congressional power to regulate naturalization, in Article 1, Section 8, includes the power to regulate immigration.

  • Teekno
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    No, the federal government enforces immigration law, not the states. The primary agency for the is ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

  • It hasn't been decided yet by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    However, no state can pass a law which contradicts the U.S. Constitution.

    The challenge to the Arizona law will eventually find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court decides that the law violates or contradicts the Constitution, the law will be struck down.

  • 10 years ago

    Your right, but Obama spent his entire adult life learning what's in that piece of paper ( Constitution), so he is the only one that knows, apparently-- what laws to enforce and which ones to ignore, he ignores campaign regulations, he ignores polling site violations, he ignores laws that prevent him from stopping a candidate form running for office, so his candidate can win ,he ignores federal immigration laws, but enforces old laws on the books to stop help in the Gulf, he sues Arizona for attempting to stop immigration ( Federal law) and belittles them nation wide for passing a law to stop the rape, larceny, drugs and kidnapping in their state*************************************************************************************

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    It's not. Obama is just wasting your money to gain political points. Meanwhile, Arizona bleeds.

    It's the most shameful act I've ever seen a POTUS do.

  • It's not that clear cut. Immigration is a federal issue. We can't have states making their own citizenship laws because then just about every state will have different citizenship requirements.

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