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01/23/2011 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

California Immigration: Group Pursues Illegal Immigrant Crackdown Modeled On Arizona's Law

Proponents of a California initiative modeled after Arizona’s controversial immigration law may begin gathering signatures to place the measure on the ballot in 2012, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced Tuesday.

The measure would require state and local law enforcement officers to investigate the immigration status of anyone they lawfully stop and "reasonably" suspect may be in the country illegally. It would also make it a crime for illegal immigrants to seek work while concealing their legal status and for employers to “intentionally or negligently” hire them.

Initiative proponent Michael Erickson would need to collect signatures from 433,971 registered voters by April 21, 2011, in order to qualify it for the ballot. If it is validated, the measure could be placed before voters in February or June of 2012.

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