Thursday, July 31, 2014
Abstract: This article appraises the state of immigration federalism in the wake of Arizona v. United States and argues that we continue to have a national interest in working out difficult moral and public policy matters like immigration through the institutions of federalism, even if doing so means accepting conflict. Federalism should play a role in immigration policy for at least three reasons. The diversity of state and local approaches to both enforcement and integration reflects legitimate ideological disagreement; state and local governments face institutional imperatives that cause their interests to sometimes diverge from the federal government’s; and a federalist debate can help check, curb, and improve federal policy. Partisans will not be satisfied with all outcomes at the state and local level, but a uniform or even ideologically consistent approach to managing migration will be elusive.