Lawmakers approve Arizona-style immigration bill

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A sweeping immigration proposal, similar to a controversial Arizona law, has received approval from a House Committee - despite major legal concerns.

Independent Ernest Wooton says his bill would help secure the borders. But law enforcement officers oppose the measure because of costs for incarceration and officer training.

Immigration advocates say the bill, which heads next to the House floor, would prompt an immediate lawsuit.

Rob Tasman, associate director for the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Thursday the bill includes several provisions also in Arizona's immigration law. Three of those provisions, including the requirement for law enforcement to determine the immigration status of a person they stop, have already been struck down in court.

Wooton's proposal won approval from the House Labor Committee in a 5-3 vote.

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