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Supreme Court eyes Ariz. immigration law

Dec. 11, 2011 at 11:14 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will find itself in the heat of the 2012 presidential race if it takes on Arizona's controversial immigration law, analysts said.

The high court met Friday to discuss hearing the challenge to Arizona's law requiring non-federal police officers to check the immigration status of people who are stopped.

A decision could be announced as early as Monday as to whether the court will take the case, which the Los Angeles Times said Sunday means a decision on both immigration and the Obama administration's healthcare program would like come down in June, just ahead of the presidential nominating conventions.

"Americans really are of two minds on immigration. Republicans have more fire in the belly for stronger enforcement. But politically, it is also a very big issue because of Hispanic [voters]," said Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center.

The Times said a recent Pew survey found Americans fairly evenly split over beefed up enforcement of immigration laws and somehow accommodating undocumented immigrants who have been living peacefully in the United States.

At issue in Arizona is whether or not the state is allowed to take on immigration enforcement. The Obama administration says that's the federal government's job; however Arizona contends Washington isn't doing its duty and the state has a right to take matters into its own hands.

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