Undocumented vs. uninsured
April 26, 2010 - Rob Weaver
An interesting legal battle over immigration is developing between the state of Arizona and the federal government.
First, some background: A new state law to take effect in Arizona this summer would require, according to The Associated Press, “police to question people about their immigration status if they suspect they are there illegally. Day laborers can be arrested for soliciting work if they are in the U.S. illegally, and police departments can be sued if they don't carry out the law.”
Opponents fear the law would lead to constant racial profiling. Proponents say it is needed to protect Arizonans from for state’s estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants.
The law raises a tough legal issue, and a clash with the feds over enforcement could result; already, President Barack Obama has instructed the Justice Department to determine the law’s legality.
That sounds like an oxymoron: an illegal law. What that means is it may come down to whether the law is constitutional. That is when the disagreement would become interesting to people living outside of Arizona. Imagine, the federal government taking a keen interest in whether a law violates the Constitution! The next thing you know, the Justice Department might be looking into the legality of requiring Americans to buy health insurance.