Do State and Local Immigration Laws Violate Federal Law? (Popular Government)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Faced with what they consider a lack of comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level ,many states and localities are enacting their own immigration-related laws and ordinances. Many of these laws impose restrictions on unauthorized immigrants, while some aim to promote integration of immigrants into the society. Such laws raise a number of constitutional issues, including whether federal law preempts them. What is the permissible scope of state and local action in this area?

There is no general answer to this question, for the analysis varies across different areas of regulation. This article explains general principles of preemption and provides an analytical framework for determining whether state and local laws relating to housing, employment,and public benefits may be preempted by federal law (and thus invalidated). The article also briefly discusses free-speech and civil rights laws that may be violated by laws establishing English as the official language.

Zota, Sejal. "Do State and Local Immigration Laws Violate Federal Law?" Popular Government 74, no. 3 (Spring 2009): 22-31.
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Public Officials - Local and State Government Roles