Immigration and Civil Rights: Is the "New" Birmingham the Same as the "Old" Birmingham

Kevin R. Johnson
Published in
William & Mary Bill of Rights, Paper 300 (2012), 367-397

Over the past few years, state legislatures have passed immigration enforcement laws at breakneck speed. As one commentator characterized it: Immigration law is undergoing an unprecedented upheaval. The states . . . have taken immigration matters into their own hands. In response to the widespread perception that the federal government cannot or will not control the border, state legislatures are now furiously enacting immigration-related laws . . . . These attempts to wrestle control of enforcement decisions from the federal government have cast into doubt the doctrinal core of immigration law: federal exclusivity.