THE BLOG

Other States Now Proposing Arizona-Like Immigration Laws

01/08/2011 11:34 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Legislators in Red States throughout the country are coming up with laws that rival Arizona's SB 1070. Here's the skinny on what's been proposed, so far.

In Kentucky: A proposed Senate bill would allow police to ask people whether they are in the country legally. Illegal immigrants could also be arrested and charged with trespassing.

"I think we need to support this bill because the federal government will not enforce our immigration laws," Jim Dugan, a Northern Kentucky Tea Party member, told the Kentucky Enquirer. "We have too many people in this country that we don't know where they came from, we don't know what their intents are, and they're a drag on our school systems, our hospitals, and being a big cost to us."

In South Carolina: A bill is being proposed that would require that police officers to verify the immigration status of suspected illegal immigrants who have been stopped in connection with another crime. According to thestate.com, "Law enforcement officials have said it would be difficult to verify residency status in many situations, and there are laws on detaining people without cause." The website quoted Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens, who supports the bill, as saying, "We can't arbitrarily hold them."

In Texas: There are more than 40 bills being considered, including one that would force school districts to determine the citizenship status of students. Another would require local governments to enforce immigration laws if they want to continue receiving state funding.

In South Dakota: One proposal would criminalize people who knowingly hire or help illegal immigrants. Another would deputize police as immigration officers, requiring them to ask suspects about their immigration status if they believe that person is undocumented.

In Georgia: Legislators are considering following in Arizona's footsteps by using 287(g), a section in the Illegal Immigrant Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 that allows states to deputize police to act as immigration officers. It would allow police officers and sheriff's deputies to question people about their citizenship status.

In Maine: (Now, officially a Red State) Gov. Paul LePage plans to also turn state police into immigration officers through 287(g).

In Utah: Rep. Stephen Sandstrom told The Salt Lake Tribune he had met with Michael Hethmon, general counsel of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, to help him craft an anti-immigrant proposal.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization, categorizes FAIR as a "hate group" because of bigoted quotes from its founder, John Tanton.

In Florida: State Representative William Snyder is considering an immigration bill similar to Arizona's, which requires non-citizens to carry their green cards on them at all times. But he said he may consider requiring people to show their immigration papers if they are involved in a criminal investigation. (Such a law would make it necessary for ALL Floridians to carry proof of residency.)