Publication Date

Spring 5-2024


Helms School of Government


Government: Politics and Policy


immigration, politics, government, constitution


Immigration Law | Political Science


Illegal immigration is a complex and relevant issue in the United States. In particular, its long-term implications for American communities has elevated its significance. Within America’s federalist system, the immigration dilemma has raised tension among federal, state, and local governments, which have different perspectives on how to approach the matter. The federal government is responsible for enforcing immigration laws but delegates numerous immigration responsibilities to state and local law enforcement. However, the degree to which local officials should cooperate with federal authorities is the subject of intense debate. Should immigration enforcement be a federal or local responsibility? Under federalism and other political principles, this responsibility should be uniquely shared and balanced in order to alleviate the immigration crisis.