The Obama administration has sued, arguing that those provisions conflict with the federal government’s role in setting immigration policy, but justices on both sides of the aisle struggled to understand that argument.
“It seems to me the federal government just doesn’t want to know who’s here illegally,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said at one point.Washington TimesMr. Verrilli said Arizona’s goal is to try to force the federal government to change its priorities, but he said those policies are designed at the national level in order to balance concerns over available resources and international relations.
“What [Arizona is] going to do is engage effectively in mass incarceration,” he said. “It poses a very serious risk of raising serious foreign relations problems.”