Look For Oklahoma, South Carolina And Utah To Pass Arizona-Style Immigration Laws
Lawmakers in at least 17 states are preparing legislation that would allow officers to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, and most of the bills will go nowhere. However, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah are the states most likely – for political reasons – to follow Arizona’s lead.
In 2007, Oklahoma led the way on such laws by adopting legislation that was the toughest ever against undocumented immigrants. The measure made it a felony to knowingly provide transport or shelter to an illegal immigrant, and blocked illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses and tuition.
The lawmaker responsible for the measure, state Rep. Randy Terrill (R, pictured), has expressed a desire to go even further than the Arizona law when he introduces another bill next year that would seize property from businesses that knowingly employ undocumented immigrants.
South Carolina was already thinking along the lines of Arizona at the time the Arizona law was passed, and was enacting its own laws.
[One] far-reaching measure forced businesses to check the immigration status of their workers. Harboring and transporting illegal immigrants also became a state crime. State lawmakers are seeking to build on it and were quick this year to draw up an Arizona-style bill, introducing it less than a week after the Arizona measure had been signed.
“We had a bill that was introduced this year that was very similar to the final version of the Arizona legislation. It was too late for us to move on it, but I have every expectation a new bill will be introduced in January,” state Sen. Larry Martin (R) said in an interview.
Several lawmakers in Utah are also looking to emulate Arizona.
Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R, pictured), who has said he is interested in drawing up an Arizona-style law, was among a group of Utah’s Republican state representatives to visit Arizona last week on a fact-finding expedition. Utah’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, has said he does expect to sign some form of immigration legislation next year. He is already meeting with those on all sides of the debate to find a way forward.
Utah also has a track record in delivering tough regulations designed to tackle illegal immigration. A state law that went into effect last year makes it illegal to harbor or employ undocumented aliens.Click here for reuse options!
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