With wide attention focused on Arizona’s tough new law against illegal immigration — and a measure approved this week in the small town of Fremont, Ne. — similar proposals are under consideration across the U.S., says the Washington Post. South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Michigan are looking at Arizona-style legislation, says the National Conference of State Legislatures. NDN, a Washington think tank and advocacy group, said lawmakers in 17 other states had expressed support for similar measures.
Fremont, Ne., narrowly passed an ordinance that would outlaw hiring illegal immigrants or renting property to them. In the first three months of this year, legislators in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills or resolutions dealing with immigrants, an unprecedented number. By the end of March, 107 laws and 87 resolutions had been adopted by 34 states, with 38 bills pending. “Fremont is an example of ‘If Washington won’t, Nebraskans will,’ ” said Bob Dane of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which supports tougher immigration enforcement. Others note that the economy may determine whether other jurisdictions follow Arizona’s lead.