Was Arizona Just the Beginning?

Other states weigh tough anti-immigration laws

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Arizona's controversial anti-immigration policy has led an unusual life in the world of American punditry. The first reactions nation-wide were furious. Even some Arizona-based writers condemned the law. For a few days, discussion centered not on the law's merits but skipped directly to debating how best to repeal it. Gradually, some commentators began urging sympathy for Arizona, citing its lack of federal funding and complicated internal politics. And now, it seems, we've gone full circle: Several other states are considering similar legislation and many conservatives are rallying behind the bill.

  • 7 States Considering AZ-Like Law  Think Progress' Andrea Nill does the research. "Many states and localities across the country are in fact in the middle of or about to embark on copy cat pieces of legislation." She finds a common element: "the involvement of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) — the legal arm of a designated nativist-extremist hate group." She says IRLI is pushing the states to hire them to work on anti-immigration laws, which have become a "profit-making venture" for the legal group.
  • Mexico Warns Against Travel to Arizona  CNN's Jack Cafferty boasts, "Arizona's tough new immigration law hasn't even gone into effect yet, and it's already working: Mexico has issued an alert for Mexicans traveling to Arizona. The country is urging its citizens to be careful... that they may be 'harassed and questioned without further cause at any time' should they go to Arizona."
  • Illegal Day Laborers Fleeing Arizona?  The Associated Press Amanda Lee Myers writes, "Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants. ... An estimated 100,000 illegal immigrants have left Arizona in the past two years as it cracked down on illegal immigration and its economy was especially hard hit by the Great Recession."
  • Could Aid Arizona Unemployment  RedState's Tabitha Hale writes, "Now, don’t get me wrong, I have some reservations regarding this bill, but this is not one of them. It’s exactly what the law was supposed to do! It’s a crack down on illegal laborers in an attempt to help those that are here legally. Let’s all wait for the media to report on Arizona’s upcoming decrease in unemployment… or maybe not."
  • CO Governor Candidate Campaigns on Similar Law  The Colorado Independent's Joseph Boven reports, "Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis said that if he were governor, he would seek to pass the same kind of harsh anti-illegal immigration laws recently passed in Arizona." McInnis said on the radio:
And here is a Governor who has stood up to it and said, "Look if you have a system that is going to work you have to have some kind of repercussions or some kind of circumstances or consequences when somebody steps outside of the system illegally." So I think that this governor–I know she is catching all sort of flack. Most of it is unfair. Most of it is ice guard. Most of it all this kind of stuff– but the fact is she finally stood up and said the federal government needs to do what they are required to do. And the federal government is not doing it.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.