Given the anger sparked by Arizona’s immigration bill nationwide – including protests and calls to boycott Arizona – the campaign promises of Colorado gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis could be seen as a bit of a surprise.

He has vowed to follow Arizona’s lead and pass a tough new anti-illegal immigration law. “We are stopping the retreat. No more retreat,” he said in a local radio interview. “Federal government, if you are not going to do it, we are going to do it.”

Mr. McInnis’s comments are but one example of how the Arizona firestorm has hardly scared off politicians in other states around the country. In some cases, it might actually be encouraging them.

Oklahoma is looking at passing tougher penalties for illegal immigrants caught with firearms. South Carolina might make it illegal to hire workers on the side of the road. In addition, state immigration legislation is also being considered in Idaho, Utah, MissouriTexas, North CarolinaMarylandMinnesota, and Colorado.

In many cases, the potential legislation is merely part of the perpetual national debate about immigration, which has taken form in more than 200 state-level immigration bills being signed into law each year from 2007 to 2009, notes Catherine Wilson, a political scientist at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

Source: Daniel B. Wood for The Christian Science Monitor.

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