Starting this week, at least five states including Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Pennsylvania will begin to fight against granting automatic US citizenship to children born, in America, to illegal immigrants. As frustration with the federal government’s inaction rises, the immigration battle is coming to the states, the New York Times reports: At least six states plan to propose bills similar to Arizona’s controversial immigration law. In addition to denying “anchor babies” citizenship, some legislators also want to limit illegal immigrants’ access to benefits like public colleges.
“The federal government’s failure to enforce our border has functionally turned every state into a border state,” says a Republican representative from Oklahoma. That state, along with Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, are expected to introduce Arizona-like bills—even though central provisions of that bill were stayed by a federal judge. “States will push ahead regardless of the Ninth Circuit,” says a law professor who helped craft the Arizona bill. “A lot of people recognize that the district judge’s decision is very much open to dispute.”