WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court appears likely to sustain an Arizona law that threatens to take away the licenses of businesses that knowingly hire workers who are in the United States illegally.
The justices heard argument Wednesday in a case that plunges the court into the nation's contentious debate over immigration, generally the province of the federal government.
Business interests and civil liberties groups are challenging the law, backed by the Obama administration.
The measure was signed into law in 2007 by Democrat Janet Napolitano, then the governor of Arizona and now the administration's Homeland Security secretary. Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, Napolitano's successor, was at the court Wednesday to show her support for the law.