A national grassroots organization that fights illegal immigration is boasting that Arizona’s controversial new immigration-enforcement law is an idea that’s catching on.
According to a statement from the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, as many as 12 other states have legislators who are already pushing or considering drafting legislation similar to Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which requires local law enforcement officers during the course of a “lawful stop, detention or arrest” to ask for proof of citizenship or legal immigration status and turn those without it over to federal authorities for deportation.
“We are excited to see so many Americans who represent the 60 – 81 percent of U.S. citizens who support Arizona’s S.B. 1070 contacting their state lawmakers to ask for similar legislation,” said William Gheen of ALIPAC. “Our network of over 30,000 supporters started asking other states to follow Arizona weeks before Governor Brewer signed the bill. We will not stop until we have S.B. 1070 protecting American jobs, wages, health and lives in all 50 states.”
To monitor the growing number of states considering similar legislation, ALIPAC utilizes a public forum, where members can update the organization with news articles and other proofs of states where the push for an Arizona-like law is making headway.
So far, 12 states – Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pensylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Utah – have made the list.
In Arizona’s neighboring state Utah, for example, Rep. Stephen Sandstrom, R-Orem, is drafting a bill that would similarly require immigrants to carry proof of status and require law enforcement officers to check for it.
“Utah is seen as state that welcomes illegal immigrants. We almost encourage it with driving privilege cards and in-state tuition for illegals,” Sandstrom told The Salt Lake Tribune. “With Arizona making the first step in this direction, Utah needs to pass a similar law or we will see a huge influx of illegals. The real issue is just establishing a rule of law in our state.”
Across the country in Maryland, Baltimore’s WBAL-TV reports that State Delegate Patrick McDonough, R-Baltimore County, is drafting a bill for his state identical to the one passed in Arizona. He’s also planning to poll his fellow legislators before the bill is filed.
“After July 6, when all the candidates have filed for the General Assembly and governor,” McDonough told the station, “we’re going to do a survey and we’re going to find out who supports and opposes it so the voters can make a decision before the election.”
A Rasmussen Reports poll released earlier today states that, among voters nationwide, 59 percent favor legislation like Arizona’s that authorizes local police to verify the immigration status of those they stop or detain and 32 percent oppose such a law.