Lawmakers on the local level take matters into their own hands

In the absence of any real action by the Obama administration to crack down on illegal immigration, cities and towns across the U.S. are taking matters into their own hands. Arizona’s immigration law is case in point, but it doesn’t stop there.

While many cities are calling for boycotts of all things Arizona (Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, to name a few), some in states around the country are following its lead in combating illegal immigration.

The City Council of Fremont, Nebraska, a small Midwestern community with barely more than 25,000 residents, just passed an ordinance designed to weed out illegal immigrants. Under the ordinance, renters would be required to apply for a license from the city as proof of legal status and businesses would have to check a national database to ensure an employee is allowed to work in the U.S.

In Virginia, the chairman of Prince William Board of County Supervisors, Corey A. Stewart, is pushing what he calls the “Virginia Rule of Law Campaign.” The campaign is an effort to get the state legislature to adopt a law that is already on the books in Prince William — a law that is similar to Arizona’s. The county’s proposed law requires police officers to inquire into the immigration status of all those arrested or suspected of a crime.

Last month, a California town did something similar. In May, Costa Mesa passed a resolution to call itself a “Rule of Law City.” The resolution is Costa Mesa’s way of officially declaring it does not condone illegal immigration.

And in Oklahoma, state Rep. Randy Terrill is preparing to introduce a bill similar to the one in Arizona, making it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant. But Terrill’s bill would crack down even harder, punishing illegal immigrants with asset-seizure and forfeiture provisions.

Further still, state lawmakers in Utah, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Texas and Georgia are pushing for legislation that mirrors Arizona’s immigration policy. The trend is clear: The impetus for implementing immigration law is the local response to the failure of the federal government.

“Local governments have clear and compelling interest to implement what the federal government won’t,” Ira Mehlman, spokesperson for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) told The Daily Caller. There is an obvious trend here, Mehlman said. “They are tired of government inaction.”

It was the federal government’s failure to act that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer cited as her justification for signing the immigration bill into law. “We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act,” Brewer told the Associated Press. “But decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”

Chairman Stewart of Virginia has similar motives. “As long as the federal government shows no interest in securing the border and no interest in internal enforcement to promote self-deportation then states and localities will have to pick up the slack,” he said in a recent press release.

  • mikeyh0

    I live in Arizona and the amazing thing is the federal government is ready to spend more time and money prosecuting us for protecting ourselves from criminals than they have in securing our borders. I see their priorities as anyone with eyes does. That stretch of border that Americans are prohibited from going near – the signs read DANGER DO NOT ENTER etc., – is a disgrace. And when some Americans take it into their own hands they are called vigilantes. Well, when the authorities have abdicated their responsibilities, someone has to pick up the slack. The rancher killed several months ago was just the most noteworthy. Out of the many police chases in Pinal County, all were committed by illegals – putting citizens and property in jeopardy. And Raul Grijalva is so owned by the Mexican Mafia that he actually wants businesses to stay away – that’s an American for you? Giffords, the bitch, is no better.

  • tinteardrop
  • clw

    Ali Noorani is obviously a BOOB. Clamping down on illegal immigration is probably the smartest and EASIEST thing we can do for our country! It will save a TON of money. Just looks at the posts! Great ideas! Tough, but perfectly fair and acceptable! Illinois will NEVER do it, so I may have to move to a red state, so if one of them gets serious about this, I definitely will.

  • grayzel

    In Wisconsin we have two good candidates running for governor in the Republican party. It is a tough choice. Both have stated we should have a law similar to Arizona’s.

  • Supernatural Witness

    Got high unemployment? Pass a law in your state that closes down and seizes the assets of any company hiring illegals and puts the owner/CEO/board of directors in jail for 99 to life. The multi- millions of jobs held by illegals would become available immediately.

  • Supernatural Witness

    Amnesty NO; Border towers with machine guns YES; deportation 1000 a day for the next few years until they are all gone YES; Seizure and forfeiture YES

    • ojfl


      I am not sure I like the idea of the government apparatus needed for these deportations. It will be big government getting even bigger. But securing the border is paramount.

  • ojfl

    Would it not be much better to just secure the border and then we discuss the rest? It is not only president Obama’s problem but it is increasingly burdensome in his watch so he should take action.

  • thephranc

    Wont happen in MD any time soon.