Although Barack Obama campaigned on a platform that included comprehensive immigration reform, his administration has put other legislative initiatives at the forefront. While Congress focused on health care reform, financial services reform and the economy, immigration reform stalled.
Meanwhile, faced with a rising tide of illegal immigrants and lax enforcement of existing federal laws, border states are stepping in to fill the gap by passing laws to take the matter into their own hands. No state's efforts have received more attention than Arizona's.
In U.S. v. Arizona, the federal government's main challenge to
S.B. 1070 is pre-emption--contending that immigration policy is the exclusive province of the federal government.
At least six states have passed laws that mirror S.B. 1070--South Carolina, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Mississippi.