Lawmakers in several states are crafting immigration laws similar to SB 1070, passed by our Arizona Legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer last month, even as Barack Obama questions the law’s legitimacy.
At least eight states — Utah, Oklahoma, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas, and Maryland — reportedly are considering legislation similar to Arizona’s law, which allows police to determine a person’s immigration status following a “lawful stop, detention, or arrest.” Of those looking to follow our lead, Texas is the only border state — making clear the pervasiveness of the issue of illegal aliens gaining unlawful access throughout the United States.
“This legislation mirrors federal laws regarding immigration enforcement,” Gov. Brewer said when she signed the bill into law. ” Despite erroneous and misleading statements suggesting otherwise, the new state misdemeanor crime of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document is adopted verbatim from the same offense found in federal statute.”
The number of bills introduced this year so far is more than the first quarter of 2009, when 50 states considered 1,040 bills and resolutions, and only 25 states passed 35 laws and adopted 40 resolutions.
The NCSL notes that state laws related to immigration have increased dramatically in recent years:
In 2006, 570 bills were introduced, 84 laws were enacted and 12 resolutions adopted.
In 2007, 1,562 bills were introduced, 240 laws were enacted and 50 resolutions adopted. In 2008, 1,305 bills were introduced, 206 laws were enacted and 64 resolutions adopted. In 2009, more than 1,500 bills were introduced, 222 laws were enacted and 131 resolutions adopted.
Read more here.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) reports that state legislatures continue to tackle immigration issues at an unprecedented rate. In the first quarter of this year, state legislators in 45 states had introduced 1,180 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees. As of March 31, 2010, 34 state legislatures had passed 107 laws and adopted 87 resolutions; 38 bills were pending signatures on governors’ desks. (Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas are not in regular session in 2010, and North Carolina’s legislative session began in May.