The issue of illegal immigration took center stage Wednesday in Washington as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for and against a controversial immigration law in the state of Arizona.
Whichever way the high court rules in the Arizona case is likely to have sweeping legal and political implications.
Outside the Supreme Court, demonstrators on both sides of Arizona’s illegal immigration law made their feelings known not only through song, but prayer.
Inside, the justices heard oral arguments both for and against the Arizona statute aimed at cracking down on the estimated 400,000 immigrants who have entered the state illegally.
One of the key provisions of the Arizona law requires police to check on the immigration status of people they stop or detain if they suspect that person is in the country illegally. Another part of the law makes it a state crime for illegals to hold a job or seek work.
But during oral arguments, several of the justices seemed to suggest they might uphold Arizona’s right to check the immigration status of those stopped by police.