Friday, June 25, 2010

Arizona's Immigration Law Becomes Popular Issue

Boise, Idaho ~ Arizona's sweeping new immigration law doesn't even take effect until next month, but lawmakers in nearly 20 other states are already clamoring to follow in its footsteps.

Gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Minnesota are singing the law's praises, as are some lawmakers in other states far from the Mexico border such as Idaho and Nebraska. But states also are watching legal challenges to the new law, and whether boycotts over it will harm Arizona's economy.

The law, set to take effect July 29, requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they think is in the country illegally. Violators face up to six months in jail and $2,500 in fines.

Lawmakers or candidates in as many as 18 states say they want to push similar measures when their legislative sessions start up again in 2011. Arizona-style legislation may have the best chance of passing in Oklahoma, which in 2007 gave police more power to check the immigration status of people they arrest.

Bills similar to the law Arizona's legislature approved in April have already been introduced in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Minnesota, South Carolina and Michigan, but none will advance this year.

Read more from this Tulsa World article at

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