The June issue of Governing magazine points out that two other states have already passed laws similar to the controversial anti-immigration legislation signed by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer in April. Georgia policymakers decided in 2006 that contractors doing business with state and local governments could be audited to make certain their employees were allowed to be in the country.

But no one’s been audited four years later, in part because resources weren’t set aside for the probes. A group representing Hispanic public officials argued the law had more to do with Georgia wanting to lead the nation in states attempting to act on immigration. It also elevated the status of a man who aggressively backed the measure and later became a leader of the Georgia Senate.

There are key differences between Arizona and Georgia, as Governing notes. Arizona’s law directs police to ask about the immigration status of people they come into contact with if ‘reasonable suspicion’ exists.

Still, the lesson from Georgia might well apply to Arizona. No state effort to crack down on illegal immigration will do very much unless legislators, bureaucrats and local law enforcement officers stay committed to it. In Arizona, where many police chiefs oppose the new law, it’s quite possible that officers won’t be suspecting residents are illegal immigrants very often.

Critical provisions of another tough-on-immigration law passed by Oklahoma in 2007 have been dismantled by subsequent court challenges, the magazine writes.

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G.W. Schulz is a reporter for Reveal, covering security, privacy, technology and criminal justice. Since joining The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2008, he's reported stories for NPR, KQED,, The Dallas Morning News, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, Mother Jones and more. Prior to that, he wrote for the San Francisco Bay Guardian and was an early contributor to The Chauncey Bailey Project, which won a Tom Renner Award from Investigative Reporters and Editors in 2008. Schulz also has won awards from the California Newspaper Publishers Association and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Northern California Chapter. He graduated from the University of Kansas and is based in Austin, Texas.