The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (.pdf) requires the police to question a person about their immigration status if there is "reasonable suspicion" that he/she is in the U.S. illegally, The New York Times reported. The law also makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally, and cracks down on those sheltering, hiring and/or transporting illegal immigrants.
In United States of America v Arizona (.pdf), the Department of Justice claims the law unconstitutionally interferes with the federal government's authority to set and enforce immigration policy, and asks for an injunction to enjoin enforcement of the law. Unless U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton blocks it, the law will take effect on July 29.
"Arizonans are understandably frustrated with illegal immigration, and the federal government has a responsibility to comprehensively address those concerns,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. "But diverting federal resources away from dangerous aliens such as terrorism suspects and aliens with criminal records will impact the entire country's safety. Setting immigration policy and enforcing immigration laws is a national responsibility. Seeking to address the issue through a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves."
Supporters of the law say it will pressure the 10.8 million illegal immigrants living and working in the U.S. to leave. In May, the Pew Research Center released the results of a poll that showed nearly six in 10 Americans support the Arizona law.