U.S. News: Arizona Immigration Law Pushes the Limit

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
2010 Year in Review

Major U.S. news stories, from health-care reform to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

map of US showing location of Arizona

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Arizona Immigration Law Pushes the Limit

One topic that didn't lose its ability to anger and divide voters in 2010 was immigration. The state of Arizona became the subject of national discussion when in April Republican governor Jan Brewer signed into law the country's toughest immigration bill, which was designed to identify and deport illegal immigrants. Under the law, police officers would be allowed to ask any person suspected of being an illegal immigrant for his or her proof of citizenship or visa. Critics immediately derided the law as "Nazism," while supporters maintained that legal immigrants should have nothing to fear in the rule.

The United States Justice Department questioned the law's viability in June, when it filed a lawsuit against the state of Arizona in protest of the new immigration law. The U.S. government claimed that immigration is a federal issue, not to be enforced by state governments, due to the possibility that their laws would interfere with federal cases and issues. Weeks later, a federal judge blocked key sections of the law, including law enforcement's ability to request legal documentation of U.S. citizenship from suspected illegal immigrants, and the requirement for immigrants to carry papers at all times. A less controversial version of the law passed.

For more information on immigration in the U.S.: