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By Mike Blair

Fed up with inaction by Congress and the White House, 550 bills dealing with illegal aliens have been introduced in state legislatures this year.

Seventy-seven new laws have been enacted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). This does not take into account an unknown number of ordinances introduced and enacted by localities. All in all, more than 30 states have enacted laws or cracked down on illegal immigrants, according to a recent mainstream newspaper report.

The new local and state laws will be a boon to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Lawyers Guild and other left-wing legal groups. The laws will be the targets of the ACLU and

other groups, according to Ann Wilson of the NCSL.

The ACLU and the others, according to Miss Wilson, will challenge on the basis of a 1986 federal law that prohibits states from enacting stricter criminal and civil penalties for illegal immigration than those adopted by Congress.

“I believe they will be tested in court,” she said.

State legislation dealing with immigration has included measures on employment of illegal aliens, education, drivers licenses, law enforcement, legal services and trafficking.

According to USA Today, recent examples of new laws directed at illegal immigrants include:

A Colorado law enacted in June prohibits awarding state contracts to businesses that knowingly employ illegal immigrants. A Louisiana law approved in June subjects businesses that have state contracts and more than 10 employees to fines if they don’t fire workers known to be undocumented. A Georgia bill enacted in April has a phased-in requirement that public employers and government contractors and subcontractors verify information on newly hired workers through a federal program.

“State and local politicians and the grass-roots in those states are up in arms over Washington’s conspicuous lack of leadership,” John Keeley, spokesman for the Center for Immigration Studies, told USA Today. “Immigration . . . is a driving factor for the three biggest budget items states face: education, health care and criminal justice.”

(Issue #36, September 4, 2006)

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Updated August 27, 2006