FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
While the federal government twiddles its thumbs concerning the issue of illegal immigration - states across the country are following Arizona's lead.
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The Washington Post reports that five states - South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan - are considering laws like Arizona's. And lawmakers in 17 other states, including Virginia, have expressed support for similar measures.
It seems pretty clear that people are sick and tired of waiting for Washington to act on this crisis.
Consider that the National Conference of State Legislatures reports nearly 1,200 bills or resolutions dealing with immigrants were introduced in 45 states in the first three months of this year alone.
These include both pro and anti-immigration measures.
For example, in Massachusetts the Senate has required state contractors to make sure their workers are legal.
This week the small town of Fremont, Nebraska - not exactly a border state - voted to ban the hiring of illegal aliens or renting property to them.
Supporters say Fremont is an example of "if Washington won't, Nebraskans will," while critics like the ACLU suggest there's "no rational reason" for Fremont to worry about protecting our border.
One reason that could prevent activity at the local level may be the economy. With many state budgets in crisis, they may not have the money for additional law enforcement or to fight the court challenges that would likely follow passage.
As for the federal government, instead of protecting our borders, they might sue Arizona for trying to protect itself. And by the way, almost 60 percent of Americans support the Arizona law.
Here’s my question to you: What’s the message for the federal government when states across the country want to adopt an immigration law like Arizona’s?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Terri in Arizona writes:
I live in Arizona and am proud that we have Jan Brewer protecting us. If you do not live close to the border, you have no idea what the impact is. Our deserts are a dumping ground. It is not safe to go in many areas now.
Joe in Virginia writes:
It means our government is more interested in pandering to special interests than solving problems – nothing new. As for the states, I say, "Have at it!" As they say in the Army, "Either lead, follow or get out of the way." The federal government needs to get out of the way on this issue.
R. in California writes:
The message is these states are looking for a convenient scapegoat to blame for their election year woes and Arizona has handed them immigration reform. In truth, Arizona has become America's Chicken Little, running all around clucking that the sky is falling.
Michael in Ohio writes:
The message is: Our government has failed us. This means both Republicans and Democrats and now the states see that they must try and protect their citizens with no help from the federal level. The danger I see is that this could be the first step toward legalized vigilantism.
June in Chicago writes:
Simple: legal American citizens are fed up. The first step should be to take a hard look at companies that continually hire illegals. I am from the Chicago area and if Immigration Services walked into any warehouse in this area, not only would the illegals run, but so would the management and owners. They know exactly what they are doing and what laws they are breaking.
Dave in Nebraska writes:
It doesn't matter what type of message we send Washington. Remember, Obama stands shoulder to shoulder with Calderon. The Arizona law violates the sense of "fairness" that we Americans cherish. Some members of Congress give Calderon a standing ovation. Our National Guard troops are not allowed to impede the progress of "migrants." I only wish our voice counted as much as Mexico's.