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Immigration policy issues grip Tennessee; senator considers bill similar to Arizona's

Janell Ross • May 12, 2010 at 5:00 AM

Two new Arizona laws requiring police officers to request proof of citizenship from anyone they suspect may be an illegal immigrant is drawing national attention — much of it negative.

A group of 30 civil rights and labor organizations and their millions of members have agreed not to spend any money or hold any potentially lucrative conferences in the Southwestern border state until the law is repealed.

Still, lawmakers in Tennessee and at least 10 other states have said that they would consider similar legislation. And this week, a bill aimed at discouraging immigration passed the Tennessee Senate — it would require anyone registering to vote to provide proof of U.S. citizenship.

For nearly 10 years, state-level immigration policy has been a growth industry. In the first three months of 2010 alone, lawmakers in 45 states introduced 1,180 bills related to immigration, according to data compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most of the bills attempt to restrict the lives of illegal immigrants or discourage illegal immigration altogether.

Read the full report at the Nashville Tennessean's Web site.

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