Legislators in Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah, which have already taken steps against illegal immigration, say that Arizona-style measures have a realistic chance of passing when their legislatures reconvene in 2011, reports the Washington Post. The Obama administration sued Arizona Tuesday, charging that the state law usurps federal authority, would hamper immigration enforcement and would lead to police harassment of those who have no proof of lawful status.
Legislators in at least 17 other states introduced bills this year similar to the Arizona law, which allows officers to question anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally. The political climate in Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah improves the chances that state legislatures there could follow Arizona’s lead in 2011. In 2007, Oklahoma led the way on such laws by adopting legislation that makes it a felony to knowingly transport or shelter an illegal immigrant. It also blocked illegal immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses and in-state tuition. State Rep. Randy Terrill (R), who sponsored the measure, has expressed a desire to go beyond the Arizona law when he introduces a bill next year that would seize property from businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants.