The Supreme Court will hear a case on a controversial issue that could have implications for American cities close to the U.S. - Mexico border including San Diego.
Justices agreed Monday to rule on SB 1070, Arizona's controversial law targeting illegal immigrants.
The justices said they will review a federal appeals court ruling that blocked several tough provisions in the Arizona law. One of those requires that police, while enforcing other laws, question a person's immigration status if officers suspect he is in the country illegally.
A poll taken earlier this year by NBC/Telemundo/MSNBC found 6 in 10 Americans support the Arizona law. A separate Field poll found Californians were nearly evenly divided over the law.
The split on the issue was obvious when the debate reached Escondido in June 2010. City Councilmember Olga Diaz wanted to pass a resolution condemning the measure but was outvoted 3-2.
The Obama administration challenged the Arizona law by arguing that regulating immigration is the job of the federal government, not states.
Similar laws in Alabama, South Carolina and Utah also are facing administration lawsuits.
Private groups are suing over immigration measures adopted in Georgia and Indiana.
There's a big racial divide when it comes to supporting Arizona’s attempt to increase state power in resolving the immigration problem. Seventy percent of whites like it - but just under a third of Latinos approve.
The Supreme Court now has three politically-charged cases on its election-year calendar. The other two are President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and new electoral maps for Texas' legislature and congressional delegation.
Justice Elena Kagan will not take part in the Arizona case, presumably because of her work on the issue when she served in the Justice Department.
Arguments probably will take place in late April, which would give the court roughly two months to decide the case.