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Justices To Rule On Role Of The States In Immigration

Publication Date: 
April 23, 2012
The New York Times
Julia Preston

Lecturer Lucas Guttentag commented on the important issues at stake in the Supreme Court case on the controversial Arizona immigration law, SB 1070. The New York Times' Julia Preston covered this in the following article:

When Georgia passed a law last year authorizing the local police to question and detain illegal immigrants, Darvin Eason felt the impact immediately on his farms here in south Georgia.

At the peak of the harvest, many of the Mexican workers he had relied on to pick his blackberries were scared away from the state. Ripe berries fell to the ground uncollected, and Mr. Eason lost $20,000 — even though the sections of the law that struck fear in the immigrants had been suspended by federal courts.


Lucas Guttentag, a law professor teaching at Stanford who was the top immigrants’ rights lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union, which has participated in challenges to statutes in Arizona and other states, said that “in many respects, this is a defining moment for the court on whether a historic line will be breached.”

“Will immigration law continue to be governed by national interest,” he said, “or will the court allow every state and locality to intrude in immigration policy and assert local biases and prejudices?”