States Eye Arizona-Like Immigration Measures

By: - January 28, 2011 12:00 am

IMMIGRATION ISSUE SPREADS: More than a dozen states are eying strict Arizona -style immigration measures that would require local police officers to check the status of people suspected to be in the country illegally. Among the states are California , Georgia , Mississippi and Texas . Arizona’s controversial law is currently on hold until the courts decide its legality. States in 2010 passed a record number of immigration-related bills, The Deseret News reported, quoting a new study from the National Conference of State Legislatures. President Obama said during his State of the Union address Tuesday night (January 25) that “we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration.”

UNEMPLOYMENT  DATA: The unemployment rate rose in 20 states last month and fell in 15, the U.S. Labor Department reported . Nevada , still suffering from a massive housing bust, posted the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 14.5 percent. California’s 12.5 percent is the second highest. Meanwhile California, Michigan and several other states are trying to help ex-convicts find jobs to keep them from ending up back in prison, The New York Times reported .

MARIJUANA OPTIONS: Cash-strapped states, including Indiana and Washington , are eyeing proposals to decriminalize or tax marijuana. Delaware and Idaho are considering legalizing medical marijuana. And in Arizona , Attorney General Tom Horne opposed a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana in his campaign last year , but now he’s calling for it to be taxed. Arizona’s universities say their campuses will ban medical marijuana even though it’s legal.

ALCOHOL TAXES: Georgia , one of only three states that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday, is considering lifting that ban to help raise revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports . Indiana and Connecticut are the other two states, and bills have likewise been introduced there to end the prohibition.

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