Arizona & Immigration: 10 States Consider Similar Laws
State immigration legislation is being considered in Idaho, Utah, Missouri, Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, Minnesota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Colorado.
Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis has vowed to follow Arizona’s lead and pass a tough new anti-illegal immigration law. “We are stopping the retreat. No more retreat,” he said in a local radio interview. “Federal government, if you are not going to do it, we are going to do it.”
South Carolina might make it illegal to hire workers on the side of the road. Oklahoma is looking at passing tougher penalties for illegal immigrants caught with firearms.
More than 200 state-level immigration bills have been signed into law each year from 2007 to 2009 which included 40 states and ranged in topic from law enforcement and employer verification to identification and license. Arizona approved Prop. 200 in 2004, which barred illegal immigrants from receiving most nonessential state benefits and services. Many other states followed.
“What we are witnessing around the country is that the public’s patience is wearing out with the federal government’s failure to enforce immigration laws and protect the interests of American workers and taxpayers,” says Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Three national polls have shown wide support for Arizona’s SB 1070 in particular and crackdowns on undocumented immigrants in general.
President Obama’s tacit acknowledgment that immigration reform is not feasible in the short term and his recent quips at a White House correspondents’ dinner – where he mocked the Arizona law – have fueled frustration, says Jack Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont McKenna College.*
“President Obama’s mockery of the Arizona law has handed ammunition to its proponents,” says Professor Pitney.*