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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Immigration ballot measures defeated in Arizona, Florida
Joe Shaulis at 1:47 PM ET

[JURIST] Voters in two US states with large immigrant populations on Tuesday defeated ballot measures dealing with illegal immigrants [JURIST news archive], according to unofficial results. In Arizona, an initiative [Proposition 202 text, PDF] would have revoked the business licenses of employers that knowingly hire illegal immigrants and would have strengthened penalties for identity theft. As of 3 PM EST Wednesday, the unofficial results [text] for Proposition 202 (with more than 99 percent of polls reporting) were:

Yes – 726,101 – 40.9 percent
No – 1,049,122 – 59.1 percent

In Florida, a legislative referendum [Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 text, PDF; unofficial results] would have amended that state's constitution by deleting a provision allowing lawmakers to regulate or prohibit the ownership of real property by illegal immigrants. The Florida Legislature had never exercised its authority under that provision, which is considered obsolete.

Voters in two other states split on ballot measures that would affect many immigrants by requiring the use of the English language in official settings. In Missouri, a legislative referendum [Proposed Constitutional Amendment 1 text; unofficial results] that passed overwhelmingly will establish English as the official state language, to be used at "all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated." In Oregon, voters apparently defeated an initiative [Measure 58 materials; unofficial results] that would have prohibited public school students from being taught in a language other than English for more than two years, with an exception for the teaching of foreign languages to English speakers.

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