Since its founding, the U.S. has struggled with
issues of federalism and states' rights. In almost every area of law, from
abortion to zoning, conflicts arise between the states and the federal
government over which entity is best suited to create and enforce laws. In the
last decade, immigration has been on the front lines of this debate, with
states such as Arizona taking an extremely assertive role in policing
immigrants within their borders. While Arizona and its notorious SB 1070 is the
most visible example of states claiming expanded responsibility to make and
enforce immigration law, it is far from alone. An ordinance in
Hazelton, Pennsylvania prohibited landlords from renting to the undocumented. Several
states have introduced legislation to deny citizenship to babies who are born
to parents who are in the United States without authorization. Other states
have also enacted legislation aimed at driving out unauthorized migrants.
of the states in immigration policy and enforcement, including voices from both
sides of the debate. While many contributors point to the dangers inherent in
state regulation of immigration policy, at least two support it, while others
offer empirically-based examinations of state efforts to regulate immigration
within their borders, pointing to wide, state-by-state disparities in
locally-administered immigration policies and laws. Ultimately, the book offers
an extremely timely, thorough, and spirited discussion on an issue that will
continue to dominate state and federal legislatures for years to come.
About the Author
Carissa Byrne Hessick is Professor of Law at University of Utah's S.J. Quinney College of Law. Prior to joining the Utah faculty, Professor Hessick spent two years as a Climenko Fellow at Harvard Law School, and she taught as a Professor of Law at Arizona State's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.