Measures introduced in at least 15 states
Sponsor: Both parties to blame (NBC News, Feb. 4, 2011) – Sen. Joey Fillingane, sponsor of a measure to allow police to check the immigration status of anyone stopped for a traffic violation in Mississippi, tells Vanessa Hauc of Telemundo that “inaction at the federal level” by Democrats and Republicans alike has forced state officials’ hands. (01:26)
By Alex Johnson and Vanessa Hauc
MSNBC.com and Telemundo
Feb. 3, 2011
Arizona’s hot-button immigration law is on hold, pending court appeals, but its effects are rippling across the country as state legislatures reconfigured by the November elections begin their new sessions.
The disputed Arizona law would allow law enforcement officers to stop people and demand proof of legal immigration status. In July, a U.S. district judge granted the Obama administration’s request for an injunction blocking parts of the trailblazing law, which raised many legal questions, including whether local officials can legally enforce federal immigration law and whether such local enforcement could lead to unconstitutional racial profiling.
That hasn’t deterred elected officials elsewhere — legislation closely modeled on Arizona’s law has been introduced in at least 15 other states since the beginning of the year [see box "Raising Arizona"]. And legislators in other states say they’re awaiting clarification from the courts before introducing their own measures.
The issue is simple, they say: Illegal immigrants are breaking the law, taking jobs and services from U.S. citizens and legal residents. …
Opponents contend that such measures would unconstitutionally institutionalize racial profiling, leaving anyone who looks or sounds “different” vulnerable to being targeted by police …
In virtually every state where an Arizona-style immigration bill is in play, activists have mobilized to protest that it’s impossible to define “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” — the benchmarks left to the discretion of officers in virtually all of the measures — independent of race and color.
Photo gallery: Key players in the immigration debate (scroll down)
By Jacques Billeaud
Feb. 7, 2011
PHOENIX — The Arizona lawmaker who proposed a challenge to automatic U.S. citizenship for children of illegal immigrants called off a scheduled vote on his measure Monday because he didn’t have enough votes to get it out of committee.
But Republican Sen. Ron Gould of Lake Havasu City said he doesn’t believe his bill is dead. Calling off a vote in committee doesn’t prevent lawmakers from bringing up their proposals for a vote again.
Gould hopes the measure would prompt a court interpretation on an element of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to people born in the U.S. who are “subject to the jurisdiction” of this country. Supporters of the bill the amendment doesn’t apply to the children of illegal immigrants because such families don’t owe sole allegiance to the U.S.
The bill’s sponsors say the goal is to force a court to rule that a child born in the U.S. is a citizen only if either parent is a U.S. citizen or a legal immigrant. Similar proposals have been introduced by lawmakers in Indiana, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma and South Dakota. The South Dakota measure was rejected by a committee Monday. …
Opponents of the bill — and constitutional scholars — predict such state efforts will be declared unconstitutional. Opponents say the proposal is mean-spirited toward immigrants and won’t make a dent in the state’s immigration woes. …
John Eastman, professor at Chapman University’s law school in Orange, Calif., said automatic citizenship remains an open question for the U.S. Supreme Court. He believes this proposal would provide a chance for court to say that merely being born in the United States doesn’t entitle a person citizenship. “The Supreme Court has never decided this issue,” Eastman said. …
Cultures clash as Oklahoma’s Hispanic population surges (Ed Lavandera and Tracy Sabo, CNN, April 5, 2011) — Oklahoma’s Hispanic population has nearly doubled in the last 10 years, from 179,000 to more than 332,000. … Latinos now account for 9% of Oklahoma’s 3.8 million residents, and are the largest minority group, surpassing the number of Native Americans, who make up about 8.5% of the population. While Oklahoma’s population grew about 9% since 2000, the Hispanic population grew 85% and accounted for about half the state’s overall growth. … Full story
Related reports on this site
Enforcing Immigration Law (Dec. 26, 2010)
House Dems OK Illegal Amnesty (Dec. 9, 2010)
Immigration: Government vs. The People (July 28, 2010)
Immigration Enforcement Surge (June 25, 2010)
Arizona Tough on Illegal Immigration (April 23, 2010)
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — February 5, 2010
Marines with 1/3 Marines Charlie Company seize a market and major junction on the outskirts of Marjah on Feb. 9, 2010. The Marines have stepped up preparations for a major assault on a key Taliban bastion in southern Afghanistan in a bid to clear out the militants. (Photo credit: Patrick Baz / AFP – Getty Images)
One year ago today, I reported that the U.S. was preparing a major attack on the Taliban to reverse their gains in the Kandahar region of southern Afghanistan, that militants were being squeezed in their Pakistan sanctuaries, and that the Afghan government was trying to draw the Taliban into peace talks. Meanwhile, in Iraq, a bomb on a parked motorcycle exploded on the outskirts of the holy city of Karbala, killing at least 20 Shiite pilgrims and wounding 110.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — February 5, 2009 (#1)
Pakistani drivers gather next to burned trucks, torched by militants on the outskirts of Landi Kotal, a town close to the Pakistani tribal area of Khyber, after being stranded in Pakistan by the bombing of a key bridge on the main supply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. (Photo credit: Qazi Tariq / AP)
Two years ago today, on Feb. 5, 2009, I reported that with the reduction of violence in Iraq following a U.S. troop “surge” and other measures, foreign militants were flooding into Afghanistan to join Taliban insurgents battling Afghan and international troops.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — February 5, 2009 (#2)
Two years ago today, on Feb. 5, 2009, in a rare second post for the day, I reported that that Father Bruce Wollmering OSB, monk and priest, died suddenly on February 4, 2009 at Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minn.
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