Legislators talk about get-tough immigration laws

AP News
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Posted: Apr 28, 2012 10:28 AM
Legislators talk about get-tough immigration laws

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the fate of Arizona's get-tough immigration law. If key parts of it are upheld, other states may be urged to follow suit. Some thoughts from lawmakers across the country:

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"It's a state problem that needs to be taken care of. ... We have flocks of illegal aliens that are being attracted to Maryland as if it is a magnet pulling them here." _ Republican Delegate Neil Parrott of Washington County, Md.

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"The federal government is not doing its part ... and we have a right to enforce the law, and if they won't do it because of greed _ because that's what it is, it's greed _ then we'll do it for them." _ Republican Rep. Becky Currie of Brookhaven, Miss.

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"There are enough problems we're fixing at the state level without dealing with federal issues." _ Democratic Rep. Michael Carey of Lewiston, Maine.

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"We're all immigrants here. ... My grandfather always said that you can be an Alaskan after five years, or you can live here for 50 years and never be Alaskan." _ Democratic Rep. Beth Kerttula of Juneau, Alaska.

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"If they want to be here and they want to be here legally, wonderful, welcome them to this country. ... I just think that the whole immigration system needs to be overhauled and is really a mess." _ Republican Rep. Pete Illoway of Cheyenne, Wyo.

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"Part of me wants to join Arizona in doing this, the other part of me wants to just rap the federal government on the knuckles." _ Republican Rep. Krayton Kerns of Laurel, Mont.

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"Arizona has been the leader in these bills and we've been passing them for the past decade and I think we've passed most of them that we can legally approve." _ Republican Rep. John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, Ariz.

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"Immigration is a federal government issue, it's not a state issue. But we are responsible for protecting our citizens, and if the federal government is turning a blind eye to those who are here illegally, breaking our laws, we as a state have to protect our citizens." _ Republican Sen. Will Kraus of Lee's Summit, Mo.