(Reuters) - Several states have passed laws cracking down on illegal immigration since Arizona blazed a path last year with a measure defying the federal government’s authority to set national policy.
The states are acting over what they say is Washington’s failure to tackle immigration and secure the porous border with Mexico, although several federal judges have since handed down stays blocking parts of these laws.
Following are facts on some recent state measures on immigration, and their current status.
* Alabama - Republican Governor Robert Bentley signed a law in June requiring police to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally if the person cannot produce documentation when stopped for any reason. The law, which is scheduled to take effect September 1, requires public schools to determine the immigration status of students, punishes employers for hiring workers who are not legal residents and mandates businesses use a database called E-Verify to confirm the status of new employees. It also prohibits landlords from knowingly renting property to an illegal immigrant. Civil rights groups sued to block the law on July 8.
* Arizona - A U.S. judge blocked a portion of a tough immigration law, signed by Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in April 2010, that would require police to determine the immigration status of those they have detained and suspect are in the country illegally. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed separate Arizona immigration provisions, including the right of the state to punish businesses that hire illegal immigrants and requiring employers to check worker citizenship status through a database called E-Verify.
* Georgia - Late last month a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the state from implementing measures authorizing police officers to question criminal suspects about their immigration status. The judge also blocked portions of the legislation that would make it a crime to knowingly harbor or transport an illegal immigrant while committing another offense. The remainder of the law, signed by Republican Governor Nathan Deal, took effect July 1.
* Indiana - A federal judge in June temporarily blocked a provision of the state law signed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels that allows state and local police to arrest anyone ordered deported by an immigration court. The judge faulted the Indiana bill, which was due to take effect July 1, for not requiring the arrested person be brought before a judge for potential release. The judge also blocked a section of the law that would prohibit any person in the state, other than a police officer, from knowingly accepting or offering a consular ID card as a valid form of identification.
* Louisiana - In early July, Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal signed two measures requiring the use of E-Verify by businesses. One requires all private contractors who want contracts with state or local public entities to use E-verify. The other requires all businesses to either use E-verify or keep photo ID records on each employee as well as proof they’re authorized to work, including copies of birth certificates or naturalization records.
* North Carolina - Democratic Governor Beverly Perdue in June signed into law a measure requiring businesses with 25 or more employees to check the citizenship status of job applicants on E-Verify. The legislation will require about 40 percent of the state’s businesses to verify the immigration status of new hires following a 24-month phase-in period. It provides an exemption for agriculture companies that employ people such as crop pickers for 90 days or less.
* South Carolina - Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law in June that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest for another reason and suspect may be in the country illegally. Under the new law, which goes into effect January 1, employers in South Carolina will be required to use E-Verify to check the citizenship status of employees and job applicants. Penalties for knowingly employing illegal immigrants will include suspension and revocation of a business license by the state.
* Texas - The Texas House of Representatives approved a measure that would crack down on cities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants. The measure would have prohibited local governments from banning law enforcement officers asking about the immigration status of people who are lawfully detained or arrested. The so-called “sanctuary cities” bill died in late June when the Texas legislature adjourned for another two years without passing it.
* Utah - A federal judge in May blocked the enforcement provision in a two-pronged package of immigration laws signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert in March. The package comprised of four bills Herbert called “the Utah solution,” including an Arizona-style enforcement component and another that would create a guest-worker program.
* Arizona-style laws have been rejected or failed to advance during the 2011 legislative session in California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming.
(Sources: Reuters; National Immigration Forum and the National Conference of State Legislatures)
Compiled by Tim Gaynor in Phoenix and Colleen Jenkins in St. Petersburg, and Karen Brooks in Austin; Edited by Greg McCune