Despite the standstill in Congress on immigration reform, state and local governments have been very active in passing their own immigration legislation. In this article for Foreign Policy, I look at what different states and cities are doing regarding immigration and the effects of their policies. You can read the beginning of the piece below:
With all the mudslinging and acrimony in Washington over unaccompanied minors and unauthorized immigrants, you might have missed it. Immigration reform has already happened — in fact, hundreds of times. With the federal government incapacitated, states, cities, and municipalities have stepped into the fray.
In 2013 alone, 45 of the 50 state legislatures passed over 400 laws and resolutions on everything from law enforcement and employment to education and public benefits. Among this flurry were a few in the Arizona SB 1070 style — bills making life more miserable for undocumented immigrants. These laws ranged from blocking access to health care and schools to criminalizing common activities such as driving cars or buying homes. But the majority are actually designed to find ways to integrate undocumented immigrants — funding English language and citizenship classes and providing access to medical care and other social services.
You can read the rest of the piece here on ForeignPolicy.com.
Published in conjunction with Latin America’s Moment at the Council on Foreign Relations.