Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah May Follow Arizona’s Immigration Law

Despite the fact that earlier this week, the US Department of Justice filed suit against the state of Arizona to stop enactment of its new law, SB 1070, Legislators in at least 17 other states are pursuing similar pieces of legislation. However, most of these measures are not considered likely to pass.

Yet the political climate in Oklahoma, South Carolina and Utah seem to suggest that similar immigration measures have a good chance of passing in 2011.

In 2007, Oklahoma adopted legislation that makes it a felony to transport or shelter an illegal immigrant. The legislation also made it against the law for illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and instate tuition.

Oklahoma State Rep. Randy Terrill (R), who sponsored that 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 employ illegal immigrants.

Terrill has addressed the need to tackle illegal immigration. The state rep has said that Arizona’s law has pushed illegal immigrants “straight down Interstate 40” toward Oklahoma.

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform doubts that Terrill will be deterred, “Randy Terrill has made this his issue in Oklahoma and has earned bipartisan support in the past.”

Utah State Rep. Stephen Sandstrom (R) has been finalizing a draft bill after making fact-finding trips to Arizona. Sandstrom said his measure may require officers to meet the higher legal standard of “probable cause” to suspect someone of being undocumented before checking.

Sandstrom said, “I don’t want people of Hispanic descent to feel my bill is aimed at them.”

South Carolina State Sen. Larry Martin (R) said in an interview that an Arizona-type measure was introduced too late this year but he believes that one will be introduced in January.

Washington Post