States seeking Arizona-type immigration law face realities

Lawmakers throughout the U.S. who sought to copy Arizona's strict law cracking down on illegal immigrants face budget deficits and other obstacles, according to The Washington Post.

Political backlash caused by Arizona's law and legal challenges from the federal government also are making the passage of such measures difficult.

"Obviously, most places were not going to pass Arizona bills," says Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies. "There's always an initial flush of enthusiasm, and then the reality of politics sets in ... These state are bankrupt—they need to decide what battles they want to fight."

Since the Arizona statute was signed into law nine months ago, similar bills have failed to pass. Some have faced resistance from law enforcement officials concerned with the cost of enforcing the laws, and some state legislators have shied away from the most controversial parts of the law because they have been challenged in court by the federal government and others.

Some of the Arizona law's provisions have been put on hold, including ones that would allow police to check immigration status if they stop someone while enforcing other laws; allow warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants; and criminalize immigrants' failure to carry registration papers. The case is awaiting a ruling before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Bills similar to the Arizona law have been drafted in states such as Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.

Date : 2/22/2011