Such charges infuriate its defenders, who see no reason that state and local police shouldn't be involved in enforcing the law of the land – especially laws that, they say, the United States is not enforcing very well.
Who is challenging the law in court?
Seven suits have been filed in federal court against the Arizona immigration law. They may ultimately be consolidated into fewer cases, but here's the current list:
•Salgado v. Brewer (filed April 29). Chicanos Por La Causa and a US citizen employed as a patrol officer for the Phoenix Police Department allege that the law is preempted by federal law and violates the Constitution's supremacy clause.
In a court hearing July 15, the state sought to have the suit dismissed, saying the police officer has experienced no harm as a consequence of Arizona's law and thus has no legal standing. The officer's lawyers argued he would be fired for failure to enforce the law, which would require him to practice racial profiling, and urged the judge to block it from taking effect.
•United States v. State of Arizona (filed July 6). The US brought suit against Arizona, arguing that the state law is preempted by federal law and violates the supremacy clause of the US Constitution. It was scheduled to be heard Thursday.
•Frisancho v. Brewer (filed April 27). A US citizen living in the District of Columbia who plans to visit Arizona alleges due process violations of both the US and Arizona constitutions, as well as other violations of the US Constitution.