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Immigrant crackdown stalling across U.S.

March 27, 2011 at 4:24 PM

PHOENIX, March 27 (UPI) -- The push against illegal immigration heralded in Arizona last year is fading around the country in the face of business objections, observers say.

Even in Arizona, where Senate Bill 1070 set off a national debate, the Republican-controlled Senate recently rejected five immigration bills. It was a major defeat for Senate President Russell Pearce, the chief sponsor of SB 1070, The Arizona Republic reports.

Forty-five immigration bills have been introduced in 28 states this year, the National Council of State Legislatures says, but many seem to be going nowhere.

Immigration crackdowns have met stronger-than-expected opposition from business interests, especially in hospitality and agricultural sectors that depend on immigrant labor.

Arizona became the target of anger and boycotts after passing SB 1070, which has not gone unnoticed.

"Finally, business has started talking," said Muzaffar Chishti, a lawyer for the Migration Policy Institute. "The economic impact of this punitive legislation is beginning to weigh heavily on influential businesspeople in these states. And they are basically saying, 'Enough is enough.'"

Utah passed an Arizona-style enforcement bill but joined it with a guest-worker program.

Legislation intended to make the Supreme Court revisit the 14th Amendment's birthright-citizenship clause has stalled in several states, says the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

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