The Justice Department sued Arizona for taking immigration enforcement into its own hands through with SB 1070, but that hasn’t seemed to deter other states from considering similar legislation. Americans for Legal Immigration political action committee, or ALIPAC, reported today that 22 states are considering Arizona-style immigration legislation, and they are taking part of the credit:
ALIPAC’s strategy to help defend Arizona from intensive attacks from the nation of Mexico and the Obama administration has been to spread the law to other states to illustrate the popularity and wisdom of the legislation.
“Our ALIPAC activists have been working hard contacting state lawmakers in every state in America asking them to stand up with Arizona,” said William Gheen, President of ALIPAC. “We are very pleased to announce that 22 states are now following Arizona’s lead to pass versions of a law that has the support of 60-81% percent of Americans according to the polls.”
ALIPAC lobbies for anti-illegal immigration legislation in state and local governments. The group calls itself non-partisan, but its endorsement list is pretty one-sided: Of 102 endorsements, only five are for Democrats. (Four of the five are Blue Dogs.) They also endorsed J.D. Hayworth over Sen. John McCain in the Republican primary in Arizona — and caused him some problems when offensive anti-immigrant language appeared on their site and McCain called for Hayworth to disavow the group.
But it’s unclear what level of credit can be given to ALIPAC for the copycat immigration bills — after all, a majority of Americans support the way Arizona chose to address illegal immigration.