"This Is Not the System Congress Created": Rethinking Louisiana's Immigration Law After Arizona v. United States

Arizona’s infamous immigration law of 2010 garnered national attention and prompted a lawsuit by the federal government.  Many considered it to be the harshest of its kind in any state, but Louisiana had crafted a law years earlier that targeted immigrants on the roads and criminalized their status.  Louisiana’s alien driving law, disguised as a rational exercise of the state’s police power, survived numerous court challenges.  The legal landscape of state immigration laws, however, changed with the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States, which strengthened the force of federal preemption of immigration law.  This Comment explores the constitutionality of Louisiana’s alien driving law, both under an Arizona analysis and independent of it. It argues that Louisiana’s law is unconstitutional not only because of federal preemption, but also because it violates individual rights.  It concludes that courts should be mindful to strike down state immigration laws on both grounds, lest we find ourselves with Arizona or Louisiana-style legislation becoming part of the system Congress creates.