States plan crackdown on immigration but risk Latino ire

January 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Republican state legislatures are ramping up a crackdown on illegal immigrants this year, in a concerted drive that risks alienating potential business allies and Latino voters. At least seven states are tipped to follow Arizona’s controversial push last year to curb illegal immigration, and more than a dozen are harmonizing efforts to cancel birthright citizenship for the U.S. born children of illegal immigrants. Lawmakers say the cooperation is unprecedented, and responds to a failure by Washington to secure the Mexico border and address the status of nearly 11 million illegal immigrants living in the shadows. “The federal government has absolutely, totally and completely fallen down on its responsibility of protecting our nation’s borders,” said Randy Terrill, an Oklahoma Republican who is pushing immigration-related laws in the coming year. The state push follows sweeping gains for Republicans in the November elections which gave them control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a stronger hand in the Senate, as well as their broadest showing at the state level in decades. Seven states including Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Tennessee say they will push measures similar to Arizona’s immigration clampdown. (Reuters)

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