States are limited in their ability to affect illegal migration into the United States. However, certain federal statutory authority exists which empowers states to arrest aliens who illegally enter the United States.

Key points

  • States are largely preempted from executing immigration law.
  • Certain discretionary federal authority exists which permits states to execute federal immigration law (287(g) program).
  • Other federal authority exists which expressly empowers states to make arrests of aliens illegally entering the U.S.
  • The migration of aliens to the southwest border and their illegal entry between land ports of entry there are controlled by transnational criminal organizations.
  • Aliens who wish to illegally enter the U.S. between the ports of entry must enter into a conspiracy with cartel-sanctioned smugglers.