Because Congress was unable to pass immigration legislation this year and the prospects remain dim next year, state legislatures will continue to lead the charge on immigration policy, reports USA Today. For many states, that could mean a crackdown on illegal immigration that mirrors the controversial Arizona law. As many as seven states are likely to pass an Arizona-style law next year, says the National Immigration Forum, which opposes such legislation: Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Arizona’s law would require all of the state’s law enforcement officers to determine the immigration status of people they’ve stopped, detained, or arrested for another offense if a “reasonable suspicion” exists that they are in the country illegally. The U.S. Justice Department sued Arizona, arguing that immigration enforcement was solely a federal responsibility. In July, a federal judge blocked the core aspects of the law, and the case is on appeal.