High court's stance could spur immigration laws

By David Crary

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, April 28 2012 3:44 p.m. MDT

Clarissa Martinez of the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, predicted that most states — regardless of the Supreme Court's decision — would stay away from Arizona-type laws out of self-interest.

"For most of them, the balance sheets do not add up," she said, referring to the Alabama law that has created burdens for some business and caused farmers to complain about lack of workers to pick their crops.

Vermont, where a growing number of Hispanic migrants work in the dairy industry, is among a handful of states overtly welcoming immigrants regardless of their legal status. Last fall, Gov. Peter Shumlin urged police to "look the other way" when the only legal problem might be an immigration violation.

"Vermont is the antithesis of Arizona," said Rep. Suzi Wizowaty of Burlington, who has backed a bill to require police to follow such policies. "Our goal in Vermont is to be the kind of place that welcomes all kinds of people."

The welcome mat is out in Alaska, also.

"We want more immigrants," said Republican Rep. Paul Seaton. "There just aren't people from here to do the work."

Associated Press writers John Hanna in Topeka, Kan.; Bob Johnson in Montgomery, Ala.; Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt.; Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa.; Roger Alford in Lexington, Ky.; Sophia Tareen in Chicago and numerous other AP writers contributed to this report. David Crary can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CraryAP

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