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July 24, 2007

Facts about Federal Preemption: Are State and Local Initiatives Unconstitutional Attempts to Enforce or Regulate Federal Immigration Law?

Increasingly, lawmakers in states and localities within the United States are proposing, and in some cases enacting, laws and ordinances that would enforce existing federal immigration law or create new immigration law. The localities claim that they simply are passing laws pertaining to the state or locality’s power to regulate licensing, contracting, or the like. Yet these state and local laws — which their authors dress up as laws to regulate housing, employment, and local law enforcement — are in actuality attempts to regulate immigration. Almost all of the proposed state and local initiatives are preempted by the federal government’s exclusive authority to regulate immigration and are therefore unconstitutional.

To help immigration advocates determine whether such state and local initiatives constitute unlawful attempts to enforce or regulate federal immigration law, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) last month released a detailed and informative fact sheet on federal preemption. The fact sheet, prepared by Monica Guizar, explains general preemption principles and provides immigrant rights advocates with analytical tools for determining whether anti-immigrant initiatives proposed in their states and localities can be legally challenged on preemption grounds.

Visit NILC's website to view and download their fact sheet on Federal Preemption at;


Posted by VisaLawyer at July 24, 2007 05:47 AM


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