Several US states to propose bills for fighting illegal immigration

Washington, Jan 1 (ANI): Legislative leaders in at least half a dozen states in the United States have said that they would propose bills similar to a controversial law to fight illegal immigration that was adopted by Arizona last spring, even though a federal court has suspended central provisions of that statute.

According to The New York Times, the efforts led by Republicans, are part of a wave of state measures aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration. Legislators have announced measures to limit access to public colleges and other benefits for illegal immigrants and to punish employers who hire them.

At least five states plan to begin an unusual coordinated effort to cancel automatic United States citizenship for children born in this country to illegal immigrant parents next week.

Opponents say that effort would be unconstitutional, arguing that the power to grant citizenship resides with the federal government, not with the states. Still, the chances of passing many of these measures appear better than at any time since 2006, when many states began proposing initiatives to curb illegal immigration.

"The federal government's failure to enforce our border has functionally turned every state into a border state. This is federalism in action. The states are stepping in and filling the void left by the federal government," Randy Terrill, a Republican representative in Oklahoma who has led the drive for anti-illegal immigration laws, said.

Among the states expected to introduce bills similar to Arizona's are Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

The Arizona law authorized the state and local police to ask about the immigration status of anyone they detained for other reasons, if they had a "reasonable suspicion" that the person was an illegal immigrant. (ANI)

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