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Push in Iowa, Cali. For Arizona-Style Laws

**FILE ** A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent is shown by the International border as a truck passes on the Mexican side of the border, in a  May 24, 2006 file photo, in Arizona. Sixty three miles of vehicle barriers are in place on the Arizona border to thwart smugglers trying to bring illegal immigrants or drugs into the country in vans, SUVs and trucks. Authorities look to have a total of 200 miles of barriers across the Southwest, mostly in Arizona and New Mexico, by the end of 2008. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

**FILE ** A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent is shown by the International border as a truck passes on the Mexican side of the border, in a May 24, 2006 file photo, in Arizona. Sixty three miles of vehicle barriers are in place on the Arizona border to thwart smugglers trying to bring illegal immigrants or drugs into the country in vans, SUVs and trucks. Authorities look to have a total of 200 miles of barriers across the Southwest, mostly in Arizona and New Mexico, by the end of 2008. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)  (ap)

Supporters of Arizona’s controversial immigration law has groups from other states pushing for ballot initiatives on similar measures.

In Iowa and California, ballot initiatives are moving forward on measures that would allow authorities to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

A citizens group in Iowa is trying to collect 200,000 signatures to urge lawmakers to pass the law. The Des Moines Register reported that the Minuteman Patriots have sent petitions to 81 counties in the state hoping to reach its goal before the Legislature begins in January.

"We have illegal aliens working here and they are taking the jobs of American citizens," said Craig Halverson, of Griswold, the group's national director.

Critics say the Arizona law encourages racial profiling. A federal judge blocked sections of the law in July, including provisions calling for police to check a person's immigration status while enforcing other laws and requiring immigrants to prove they are in the United States legally or risk being charged.

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House Speaker-elect Kraig Pauslen, R-Hiawatha, said he expects immigration to be debated during the upcoming legislative session but that a bill might not be modeled on the Arizona law.

"Obviously, Arizona is different than Iowa, but my expectation would be that absolutely there are things we can learn from them," Paulsen said. "That is probably as good a place to start the conversation as any. "

In California, voters may get a chance to weigh in on a proposal similar to the Arizona law after Secretary of State Debra Bowens allowed a man to begin collecting signatures for a proposed ballot initiative, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Michael Erickson, a Tea Party activist, must collect the signatures of 433,971 registered California voters by April 21 to get the initiative on the 2012 ballot.

Erickson said he and the group of people that drafted the proposed law are concerned that with the passage of Arizona's SB1070 "illegal immigrant gangs, drug traffickers" and other criminal elements will relocate to California.

He said that the measure is not anti-immigrant but that the group "wants people to work legally," for fair wages, and "wants people's rights to be respected."

Iowa's Republican Gov.-elect Terry Branstad supports strong enforcement of immigration laws, said spokesman Tim Albrecht.

"Gov. Branstad believes that if the federal government will not enforce existing laws, Iowa-specific legislation should be drafted that will enable local law enforcement to detain those individuals who are here illegally," Albrecht said.

Albrecht said Branstad has made it clear the federal government should shoulder the costs of enforcement of immigration laws.

Representatives from at least two organizations said they would challenge efforts to pass an Arizona-style immigration law.

"I would not like to see that type of governance in the state of Iowa," said Sal Alaniz, vice chairman of the Iowa Commission of Latino Affairs.

Instead, Iowans should help immigrants who are "becoming more and more a part of the fabric of America," he said.

Ben Stone, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, said it would be counterproductive for Iowa to pass such a law while the issue is still being weighed by the courts.

"Any libertarian should look at the Arizona law with great suspicion because it gives enormous power to government based on mere appearance," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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