June 25 (Reuters) - A U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Monday
upholding a key part of Arizona's crackdown on illegal
immigrants may lend support to states where Republican-led
legislatures have passed similar laws, insisting they had to act
in a policy area in which the federal government has failed.
Here are some facts about the state laws and their status.
The Arizona law, the first of several passed by
Republican-led state legislatures to curb illegal immigrants,
was signed by Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010 and has a
provision requiring police to determine the immigration status
of those they detain and suspect are in the country illegally.
Brewer said the law was needed to safeguard Arizonans, whose
state borders Mexico. This was the part the Supreme Court upheld
Other parts of the Arizona law require immigrants to carry
their papers at all times; ban illegal immigrants from
soliciting work in public places; and allow police to arrest
immigrants without a warrant if an officer believes they have
committed a crime that would make them deportable. The Supreme
Court ruled that these provisions went too far in intruding on
Parts of the Arizona law were blocked by a federal judge
before it came into effect. Despite the Supreme Court ruling, a
separate case will proceed challenging the Arizona law on
grounds that it was unconstitutional and could lead to ethnic
and racial profiling of the fast-growing Hispanic population.
Republican Governor Robert Bentley signed a law in June
2011, modeled on Arizona's law, requiring police to detain
anyone suspected of being in the country illegally if the person
cannot produce documentation when stopped for any reason.
The law, viewed as the toughest state immigration law in the
country, also required public schools to determine students'
immigration status, a provision that was temporarily blocked in
October by a U.S. appeals court.
Immigration and civil rights activists urged the state to
scale back some of the law's strictest provisions, but in May
lawmakers approved a new bill with only minor changes and which
included two provisions Bentley had initially questioned.
One was a new provision that the names of illegal immigrants
be published if they appear in court on charges of violating
state law whether they have been convicted or not.
The revised law also maintains a section from the original
law that requires school systems to account for the immigration
status of students unable to provide valid proof of residency.
A law signed by Republican Governor Nathan Deal in 2011
allows police to investigate the immigration status of those
suspected of committing crimes, but that provision was
temporarily blocked last June by a federal judge.
Another provision of the law which went into effect on Jan.
1 required many companies to enroll in the federal E-Verify
program to determine whether their employees are eligible to
work in the United States.
A bill approved by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels in 2011
allows police to arrest anyone ordered deported by an
That provision was blocked in June of last year by a federal
judge who faulted it for not requiring the arrested person to be
brought before a judge for potential release. Another provision
of the law imposed E-Verify requirements on some employers.
Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill in 2011 that
requires police to check the immigration status of those they
detain, a provision that was blocked by a federal judge in
December. The bill also barred illegal immigrants from
soliciting or performing work in the state.
A two-pronged package of immigration laws signed by
Republican Governor Gary Herbert in 2011 included an enforcement
element modeled on Arizona's approach combined with a temporary
Utah has been billed as having a softer and gentler approach
to immigration than neighboring Arizona, partly because Utah's
law is coupled with an existing provision allowing illegal
immigrants to get driver privilege cards and partly because the
law's language is less harsh. The Utah rules governing
immigration checks, for example, give police discretion for
people suspected in minor crimes.
The Utah law has been blocked by a federal judge pending the
Arizona ruling and criticized by rights activists.
(Sources: Reuters; National Conference of State Legislatures
and the University of California, San Diego, Center for
Comparative Immigration Studies)
(Reporting By Alex Dobuzinskis)
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