Since its founding, the U.S. has struggled withissues of federalism and states' rights. In almost every area of law, fromabortion to zoning, conflicts arise between the states and the federalgovernment over which entity is best suited to create and enforce laws. In thelast decade, immigration has been on the front lines of this debate, withstates such as Arizona taking an extremely assertive role in policingimmigrants within their borders. While Arizona and its notorious SB 1070 is themost visible example of states claiming expanded responsibility to make andenforce immigration law, it is far from alone. An ordinance inHazelton, Pennsylvania prohibited landlords from renting to the undocumented. Severalstates have introduced legislation to deny citizenship to babies who are bornto parents who are in the United States without authorization. Other stateshave also enacted legislation aimed at driving out unauthorized migrants.Strange Neighbors explores the complicated and complicating roleof the states in immigration policy and enforcement, including voices from bothsides of the debate. While many contributors point to the dangers inherent instate regulation of immigration policy, at least two support it, while othersoffer empirically-based examinations of state efforts to regulate immigrationwithin their borders, pointing to wide, state-by-state disparities inlocally-administered immigration policies and laws. Ultimately, the book offersan extremely timely, thorough, and spirited discussion on an issue that willcontinue to dominate state and federal legislatures for years to come.
The Role of States in Immigration Policy
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