published Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Tennesseans favor Arizona-style immigration law, poll suggests

By Chas Sisk

The Tennessean

Tennesseans favor bringing Arizona’s controversial immigration measure to the state by a 4-to-1 margin, a poll conducted by The Tennessean and other media outlets found.

Seventy-two percent of voters in the state say they would support enacting a law that would require people stopped by police to prove they are in the country legally. Such legislation would be modeled after an Arizona immigration statute scheduled to go into effect Thursday that lets police charge people who cannot prove their citizenship status under the state’s criminal trespassing laws.

“I have no problem with it,” said Otis Schrier, a retired civil servant from Dover, Tenn., who responded to the poll by Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. “I don’t think criminals have a right to not show identification.”

The U.S. Department of Justice has challenged Arizona’s law on the grounds that it interferes with the federal government’s constitutional power to regulate immigration. Civil rights groups also oppose the law, saying it will encourage racial profiling.

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