Publication Date



[Excerpt] This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice. This report does not discuss legal issues raised by states and localities enacting their own immigration-related laws, including measures intended to supplement federal law through the imposition of additional criminal or civil penalties.


Suggested Citation
Garcia, M. J. & Manuel, K. M. (2010). Authority of state and local police to enforce federal immigration law. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.