SALT LAKE CITY — Utah legislators have passed an immigration law that they were confident wouldn't end up the same way Arizona's version did last year: tangled up in the courts.
But 14 hours after Utah's law went into effect this week, it, too, was before a federal judge.
Other states grappling with illegal immigration like Georgia and Alabama are paying close attention and the halting of Utah's law could give them pause.
After all, state lawmakers have worked at length with attorneys trying to eliminate constitutional issues a federal judge raised with Arizona's law.
Despite those refinements, the bottom line remains the same, legal scholars say. Immigration is enforced by the federal government, and any state attempting to tell the federal government how to enforce immigration laws is stepping into potentially unconstitutional territory.
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