Not Just Arizona: From Utah To Maryland, States Eye Harsh Immigration Laws
Zachary Roth | May 3, 2010, 8:44AM
Arizona isn’t the only state looking to take extreme measures to crack down on illegal immigration. At least 10 other states — many inspired by Arizona — are talking about enacting similarly draconian legislation. And most aren’t places that are traditionally thought of as hot-spots in the immigration battle.
With a major hat tip to Think Progress, here’s a quick rundown:
• Colorado: Scott McInnis, the presumptive GOP nominee for governor, said this week that if elected, he’d try to pass something “very similar” to Arizona’s bill.
• Georgia: Nathan Deal, a former congressman and GOP gubernatorial candidate, also has said he intends to propose similar legislation to Arizona’s.
• Maryland: A Republican state legislator has said he plans to send a survey to state lawmakers and gubernatorial candidates to get them on the record as to whether they support Arizona’s approach.
• Missouri: The state legislature is considering a law that would make it unlawful for any person to conceal or shelter “illegal aliens,” and would also make it a crime for illegal immigrants to transport themselves. Similar local laws have in the past been declared unconstitutional.
• North Carolina: An anti-immigration leader said this week: “I believe the chances similar legislation [to Arizona’s] will be filed here is (sic) over 95 percent likely from what lawmakers are telling me.” Allied groups concede, though, that with a Democratic-controlled statehouse, such a bill might not get far.
• Ohio: Two Republicans — one a state legislator, the other a county sheriff — sent a letter recently to Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, asking him to work “to assure legislation is passed that will mirror” Arizona’s. Strickland has been non-committal.
• Oklahoma: The state has already passed a law that makes it harder for illegal immigrants to obtain IDs or public assistance, lets police check the immigration status of anyone they arrest, and makes it a felony to knowingly shelter or employ an illegal immigrant. A court has thus far barred the state from enforcing key provisions of the law.
• South Carolina: A GOP legislator just introduced a bill he says is “virtually the same” as Arizona’s.
• Texas: A Republican lawmaker has said she plans to do the same when the legislative session starts in January.
• Utah: A GOP state lawmaker has advocated a bill that would make immigrants carry proof of status, and would ape Arizona by requiring police to question anyone they believe is an illegal immigrant. He says he “has the support to do it.”
And while we’re sort of on the subject, don’t miss our roundup of crazy, nonsensical, or just plain hilarious state laws…