States Will Push Tough Immigration Laws In 2011
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Fed up with the federal government’s perpetual failure to secure the southern border, state legislators across the country will begin the New Year with aggressive efforts to curb illegal immigration.Dozens of state lawmakers throughout the nation have already started drafting measures designed to contain the devastating impact of illegal immigration, according to several news reports. Local governments are so desperate for relief that the possibility of a costly legal challenge is not deterring them from their campaign to crack down on illegal immigration.Elected officials in at least six states have already confirmed plans to introduce bills similar to Arizona’s, which bans “sanctuary city” policies, makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. without proper documentation and requires police to check the immigration status of people stopped for questioning. Others have announced measures to limit access to public benefits for illegal aliens and to punish employers who hire them.Oklahoma may enact a measure that allows authorities to seize and keep the vehicle of anyone who harbors an illegal immigrant and Missouri, Mississippi andNebraska are among states where legislators will offer bills similar to Arizona. In several other states, lawmakers plan to push for laws that require employers to verify the immigration status of their workers.Newly elected governors in Georgia, South Carolina and Florida vowed to enact tough immigration control laws during their high-profile campaigns and Georgia’s governor-elect (Nathan Deal) also wants to revoke birthright U.S. citizenship for children born to illegal immigrants. Commonly known as anchor babies, the number of children born to illegal aliens has nearly doubled to 4 million in the last few years and U.S. taxpayers spend tens of billions of dollars annually just to educate them.In all, more than 1,000 immigration-related bills will be introduced this year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation’s 50 states as well as its commonwealths and territories. In each of the last two years, the figure reached about 1,500 and is expected to grow this year amid fury over the federal government’s inaction.