Nebraska Gov. Expects to See Arizona-style Laws Passed Across the Country
Longtime supporter of strict immigration enforcement, Gov. Dave Heineman, has put Arizona-style immigration legislation at the center of his re-election campaign, and says similar bills will begin popping up throughout the country when state legislature reconvenes next year.
“Next January I believe in every state in America there will be Arizona-type law introduced,” he told The New York Times.
Just like Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona, Heineman has seen his popularity grow due almost entirely to his efforts to keep illegal immigration out of his state. An underdog when he first ran for office, he publicly and frequently expressed his stance on anti-illegal immigration and is now predicted to win a second term.
Promotion of policies like Arizona’s has been a huge boost to near all campaigns, given that a number of voters think unauthorized immigration is a major issue. Colorado, Utah, and Tennessee have recently sent officials to Arizona to talk about their immigration laws and to find out what backlash and consequences come along with passing them.
Though Heineman and other government officials and candidates are pushing for stricter immigration laws, it hasn’t come without a price. The federal government has said it will act against all states that attempt to preempt its powers to enforce immigration. After SB1070, Arizona was bombarded with boycotts, lawsuits, and a weakened tourism industry. And whether federal officials challenge states’ laws, there is a price to pay for increased policing and enforcement. Not only would police forces have to be trained leading to increased costs, jails would be more crowded and more police would need to be hired to maintain them.
However, if Senators Robert Menendez and Patrick Leahy get Congress to pass there Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, the problem of “copy-cat legislation” would be eliminated as it solidifies that immigration enforcement is the federal government’s responsibility not the states’ unless specifically granted to local law enforcement agencies.