Texas could become the next battleground for immigration.
In a state where lawmakers have proposed making English the state's official language and requiring presidential candidates to prove their citizenship, state lawmakers are eager to get to work during their next regular session in January and propose new immigration-related bills - especially because the Supreme Court Monday upheld a key piece of Arizona's immigration law.
Several state lawmakers are expected to revive the push for a bill similar to Arizona's "show me your papers" law. Efforts to pass such a bill in Austin last year failed.
"The 'stop and ask' measure is fair game in the next session," said Bill Miller, an Austin-based political consultant who works with both Republicans and Democrats. "It absolutely will be proposed in Texas."
Gov. Rick Perry called the ruling a victory, but said it's not enough.
It "is one step forward and two steps back - simply not good enough," he said. "The people of Arizona took action consistent with federal law and in direct response to the failure of this administration to secure our nation's borders. The absence of federal action on immigration enforcement directly spoils the integrity of our nation's laws."
Immigration has long been a heated issue in Texas - prompting marches from residents, ordinances from some cities and proposed legislation from state lawmakers.
Earlier this month, the Republican Party of Texas weighed in, dumping a hard-line approach to immigration and replacing it with "The Texas Solution," a plan to create a temporary worker program that requires participants to pay fees, pass a criminal background check and waive rights for public financial help.
"The biggest step that Texas can take to secure our borders is to help remove President Obama from office this November," said Chris Elam, deputy executive director for the Republican Party of Texas. "He has failed to live up to his promises on any sort of enforcement over our borders and our immigration laws."
ACLU officials say the court's move to uphold the "show me your papers" provision "shows just how out of touch the court is with reality."
"The tide has turned against laws like these," said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. Texas legislation
More than 40 immigration-related bills were filed - and died - in Texas last year.
But anything can happen next year, said state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, who has proposed bills that would make being an undocumented worker a crime and requiring presidential candidates to prove citizenship before being listed on the ballot. But Berman, a former Arlington mayor pro tem, won't be there since he lost his primary re-election bid.
"We've still got to deal with immigration," he said.
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, has filed immigration bills and her staff said she will to review the court's ruling before deciding whether to refile similar measures next year.
In 2010, she said she wouldn't be dissuaded by legal action because that would "only serve to stoke the raging signal fire alerting Washington, D.C., to the fact that there is finally no one left to blame but themselves" for border problems.
Among immigration measures that died in Texas last year was a sanctuary cities bill, which prevents cities from enacting policies to stop peace officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, which was given priority status by Perry.