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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Arizona immigration law


08:45, December 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday that it has agreed to hear a challenge to Arizona 's controversial anti-illegal immigration law.

The high court said in a brief order that it will hear arguments from both sides and rule on whether Arizona can enforce major provisions of the law that have been blocked by a lower court.

Those provisions include requirement that police officers question a person's immigration status if they suspect the person is in the country illegally.

Also under consideration are provisions that make it a crime for illegal immigrants to apply for jobs; make it against the law to not carry documentation of legal immigration status; and allow for a warrantless arrest of a person suspected of being illegal immigrants.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in April to block the enforcement of all the above provisions.

The Obama administration launched a host of lawsuits against some state immigration laws including those of Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, among others, insisting that the federal government has the exclusive authority over immigration issues.

However, those states argued that the federal government failed to fulfill its responsibility to protect the nation's borders, inflicting economic pains and security risks on states' residents.

"I would like to commend the U.S. Supreme Court for its decision to review and hear arguments pertaining to the federal court injunction," said Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in a statement Monday. "I am confident the High Court will uphold Arizona's constitutional authority and obligation to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens."

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan said Monday that she would not hear the case as she served as Obama's solicitor general when the federal government filed the original lawsuit against the state.

If the case ends up in a 4-4 ruling, it will be a victory for the Obama administration as the provisions will be kept from going into effect based on the previous appeals court's ruling.

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