MoJo Tracks the Coming Anti-Immigrant Governors

Jan Brewer won't likely be the only zealot in office after today.

By Jamilah King Nov 02, 2010

While Democrats brace themselves for major losses in the House, and possibly the Senate, Suzy Khimm at Mother Jones forecasts a frightening scenario for progressives: What if a slew of anti-immigrant gubernatorial hopefuls take office? It’s looking more and more like a possibility:

But while Tancredo is one of the biggest flamethrowers on the issue, he isn’t the only immigration hardliner with a shot at the governor’s office this year. Across the country, in states with burgeoning immigrant populations, more than a half-dozen Republican gubernatorial candidates who’ve vowed to impose stricter controls on immigration are now poised to take office. With congressional gridlock expected to overtake Washington after the midterms, state governments will be under even greater pressure to take action on immigration, putting a new slate of anti-immigration GOP governors on the front lines of a crackdown.

Jan Brewer’s re-election campaign in Arizona has garnered plenty of attention, along with hardliner Tom Tancredo’s quest for the governor’s mansion in Colorado. But they’re not the only ones. There’s Georgia, where Khimm writes that both Democrat and Republican candidates have vowed to replicate Arizona’s SB 1070. And then there’s New Mexico and Nevada, where two Latino Republicans have built a strong anti-immigrant platform. Susana Martinez has vowed to to repeal state laws allowing undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, and her attitude has even earned an endorsement from former Alaska governor and tea party poster child Sarah Palin. Finally in Nevada* Brian Sandoval, who was born to Mexican immigrants, is pushing for an SB 1070 copycat law in his state. Amazingly, he claimed he wasn’t worried about racial profiling under the copycat legislation because his kids "don’t look Hispanic, " Khimm writes.

ColorLines has pointed out SB 1070 copycat laws before. But it looks like we’ll be seeing even more state-level anti-immigrant initiatives in the coming years.

*A previous version of this post incorrectly identified Brian Sandoval as a candidate for governor in Colorado.