The Madeleine Brand Show

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Supreme Court prepares for SB 1070 hearings

by The Madeleine Brand Show

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A Border Patrol agent checks vehicles for illegal immigrants and contraband at a roadside checkpoint near Sasabe, Arizona. Scott Olson/Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over Arizona's controversial immigration law, SB 1070. The debate is expected to center over whether immigration is a federal matter or if the states can craft their own laws.

A lower court blocked four provisions of the Arizona law last July, which the Supreme Court will now rule on.

The four controversial provisions states a local police officer is required to determine someone's immigration status if the officer suspects that person is here illegally. An immigrant has to carry a registration card. Undocumented immigrants can't solicit work. And police can arrest immigrants without warrants if there is probable cause to deport them if they've committed a crime.

A report from Pew released yesterday found that immigration from Mexico is now at zero. Supporters of Arizona's law have said that the states need to take action to stem the flow of illegal immigration because the federal government hasn't acted. Could the new immigration data affect arguments before the court?

Guest:

Adam Liptak, of the New York Times.

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