NATION

High court to look at state immigration laws

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The state says that the federal government isn't doing enough to address illegal immigration and that border states are suffering disproportionately.
In urging the court to hear the immigration case, Arizona says the administration's contention that states "are powerless to use their own resources to enforce federal immigration standards without the express blessing of the federal executive goes to the heart of our nation's system of dual sovereignty and cooperative federalism."

Many other state and local governments have taken steps aimed at reducing the effects of illegal immigration, the state says.

But the administration argues that the various legal challenges making their way through the system provide a reason to wait and see how other courts rule.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed the immigration measure, S.B. 1070, into law in April 2010. The administration sued in July to block the law from taking effect.

In April, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld a federal judge's ruling halting enforcement of several provisions of the Arizona law. Among the blocked provisions: requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers; making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job; and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant.

In October, the federal appeals court in Atlanta blocked parts of the Alabama law that forced public schools to check the immigration status of students and allowed police to file criminal charges against people who are unable to prove their citizenship.

Lawsuits in South Carolina and Utah are not as far along.

The case is Arizona v. U.S., 11-182.

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