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Arizona bill inspires copycats in Texas, Georgia, Colorado

As Republicans in Congress divide over what to do and say about Arizona's immigration bill, conservatives in the states are looking for ways to copy it.

In Texas:

State Rep. Debbie Riddle said Wednesday she will propose immigration reform legislation like the controversial law passed in Arizona, joining another lawmaker who promised the same last week.

In Georgia, from a Republican candidate for governor:

“I agree with the Arizona governor and Legislature that the federal government has failed miserably at protecting our borders and enacting sensible solutions that would protect our states, counties and cities from bearing the enormous costs associated with illegal immigration, from emergency room visits to public schools to the criminal justice system,” said Nathan Deal. “As governor of Georgia, I’d work to pass and sign similar legislation.”

And Scott McInnis, the Republican front-runner for governor of Colorado.

"If the federal government continues to ignore this issue, then Colorado has the right as a state to do something about it," said McInnis, who acknowledged he had not yet read the Arizona law but said he is familiar with its content.

Here is your latest example -- if one was needed -- of state activists leading the national Republican Party. In our dialogue yesterday, Politico's Ben Smith compared this to the "laboratory of democracy" that Eliot Spitzer ran in New York as he sued Wall Street firms. I think it's comparable, but much more intense.

By David Weigel  |  April 29, 2010; 5:28 PM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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