The presence of eleven million unauthorized immigrants in the United States has generated a great deal of political controversy. No one of any ideological stripe seems to believe that the current state of immigration law is satisfactory. Other than authorizing ever-increasing border enforcement however, Congress is gridlocked. State and local governments have sought their own solutions. Arizona captured the headlines in 2010 with Senate Bill 1070, which makes it illegal not to have registration documents, and obligates police to inquire into the immigration status of certain people with whom they interact. A federal district court has found key provisions of the law preempted. This Forum examines SB1070 and the litigation challenging it, both on its own merits, and as a springboard for a discussion of immigration reform more generally. Can federal, state, and local governments share responsibility for immigration policy? How? What measures to stem illegal immigration are appropriate? What should be done about the many unauthorized immigrants currently in the country?
Omar Jadwat, Staff Attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project
Julie Myers Wood, Former Head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Julia Preston, Immigration Correspondent, New York Times
Barry Friedman, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law, NYU School of Law