Arizona passed its version of the law because Governor Jan Brewer and Arizona legislators claim the President has failed to enforce federal immigration laws. Arizona shares one of the longest borders with Mexico, according to a USA Today
The law allows Arizona law enforcement officers to check for the legal status of persons during an incident involving questioning or arrest.
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, in ruling on the two-year legal battle between President Obama and Arizona, upheld the provision on the grounds that “it doesn't conflict with federal law.”
Opponents do not want officers to be allowed to check immigration status while enforcing other laws, or to be allowed to question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally. Hence the "show me your papers" handle that many Democrats dubbed the law.
Arizona passed the law in 2010 as the state struggled to control the busiest illegal entry point into the country. Five other states - Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah passed similar legislation to deal with illegal immigration.
However, even if the law survives repeal, a process that is already underway, Arizona officials are concerned that federal immigration agents, who will be called to verify people's immigration status and take custody of alleged illegal immigrants, may not cooperate since they have not been enforcing federal immigration laws
Nevertheless, the ruling represents a blow to the Obama administration and its attorney general, Eric Holder, who is already been held in contempt by congress over his role in the Fast-and Furious gun-running operation. One U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry
, was killed with guns supplied to Mexican drug cartels in the operation overseen by Eric Holder’s Justice Department.