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SB1070 Copy Cat Laws
Much has been written (here and elsewhere) about the many policy and economic defects of Arizona's anti-immigrant SB1070 legislation, what has not been so readily covered is the spread of copy cat laws.
As of the time of this posting, there are 5 states that have SB1070 copy cat laws currently in the legislative pipeline. 17 more states have expressed an interest in taking up laws when the legislative calendar begins again in January.
The fact that SB1070 is spreading is not surprising, what is interesting is where the copy cat laws are being proposed.
Albuquerque, NM, Mayor Richard J. Barry recently passed a law that would require federal agents to check the immigration status of every person arrested in Albuquerque.
New Mexico is 44.9% Hispanic, with such a large population it is hard to believe any anti immigrant legislation would pass so easily. In fact the Mayor's decision has caused quite an uproar, the full story can be read here. Stay tuned to see if this legislation is not repealed.
Democratic stronghold Pennsylvania also has an SB1070 copy cat bill in the pipeline. House Bill 2479, would direct a police officer "to attempt to verify the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens."
But wait, this legislation goes a step further than SB1070, from a Post Gazette Newspaper article:
The bill also would create a new third-degree misdemeanor "for illegal aliens who violate federal law by either willfully failing to register as an alien or failing to possess proper proof of such registration when stopped for another primary offense, such as a traffic violation."
SB1070 does not create a new third-degree misdemeanor. HB2479 would also:
attempt to crack down on employers who hire illegal aliens without first checking to see if they had registration papers and are in the state legally. It also would create a new third-class felony "for intentionally smuggling illegal aliens (into the state) for profit" and would let police officers "impound any vehicle driven by an illegal alien or used to transport illegal aliens.''
Employer sanctions are another "improvement" on SB1070.
Not to be outdone the South Carolina state Judiciary committee has been holding hearings on H4919. The text of the legislation can be found here. An excerpt is below.
A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 15
TO CHAPTER 3, TITLE 23 SO AS TO ENTITLE THE ARTICLE "ILLEGAL ALIENS
ENFORCEMENT", TO PROVIDE FOR PROCEDURES FOR VERIFICATION OF A PERSON'S
IMMIGRATION STATUS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE
WARRANTLESS ARREST OF PERSONS SUSPECTED OF BEING PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES
This is essentially adds federal immigration law to the state code of laws in order to give local law enforcement officers the ability to arrest and profile any one who they may suspect to be an undocumented immigrants. An article from The State a local South Carolina newspaper can be read here.
There has been allot of talk about Texas passing similar SB1070 legislation. So much so that the Texas state Republican convention split in two over the idea. A great summary of the schizm can be found at read at the New Mexico Independent.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, a staunch Republican, strongly opposes passing SB1070 copy cat legislation in the state. Fox News has a good summary up here.
There are sure to be more states who will be adding to the list of SB1070 copy cat legislators, please check back here for all the latest developments.