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Supreme Court to tackle Arizona immigration law this week (1 of 2)

This week is an important one for immigration law in the United States. Before tougher immigration laws were passed in South Carolina and several other states, Arizona became the first to implement legislation that served as a blueprint.

Now, over two years later, the United States Supreme Court will weigh the validity of Arizona's controversial immigration law and the decision will undoubtedly affect all the states that have followed in Arizona's footsteps.

The nation's highest court will hear arguments for and against the law on Monday. The state will argue that the law was a necessary measure in light of the federal government's so-called unwillingness to control the large number of illegal immigrants that have entered the country.

Opponents of the law, made up of the U.S. Justice Department and civil rights advocates, will argue that the law surpasses state's rights and encourages racial profiling. They will contend that immigration is a complex matter that should be handled by the federal government to avoid mucking up foreign relations.

The Supreme Court will likely not issue a ruling on the matter until June, but it is one that both sides of the argument as well as the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country will be anxiously awaiting.

However, it is possible that the decision could end in a 4-4 tie as one justice has recused herself. In that case, the lower court's ruling would stand, which was an injunction against the law that was upheld by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Please check back for more on this important issue later this week, including the provisions of the law that are at issue in the case.

Source: USA TODAY, "Supreme Court weighs fate of Arizona's immigration law," Alan Gomez, April 23, 2012

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