Immigration: Florida copies Arizona

Southeastern US state is the latest to craft a bill modelled on a controversial law.

    Politicians in the US state of Florida are the latest to craft a bill modelled on a controversial law in Arizona, local media reports said.

    The law, signed in April, gives broad powers to police to question people they suspect of being in the country illegally.

    Critics say it encourages racial profiling. Now politicians in at least six states have introduced bills similar to Arizona's.

    "This is shameful, copy-cat legislation particularly in states that are experiencing the highest number of foreclosures in the country, the highest unemployment rates and the highest deficit of their state budgets," Nativo Lopez, who works at the Mexican-American Political Association, told Al Jazeera.

    "It's shameful because they could theoretically deport all the estimated number of undocumented individuals in their states and that still would not resolve their deficits or bad unemployment.

    "It's a nasty political ploy prior to the midterm elections driven by the Republican agenda to outdo the Democrats that haven't done anything about immigration either."

    Los Angeles and one town in Indiana have passed bans on doing business with Arizona companies.

    And at least five challenges have been filed against the Arizona law - mainly on civil rights grounds.

    The Obama adminstration has also signalled it will take legal action soon.

    Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer reports.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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