Colorado restricts illegal immigrants from receiving in-state tuition. Nebraska requires verification of immigration status to obtain public benefits. In Tennessee, knowingly presenting a false ID card to get a job is a misdemeanor.
Arizona's strict new law has generated the most controversy, but there are hundreds of immigration-related laws on the books across the country. The laws regulate employment, law enforcement, education, benefits and healthcare.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit last week to stop the Arizona law from taking effect July 29, saying that immigration policy is a national responsibility and "a patchwork of state laws will only create more problems than it solves." But according to experts, that is precisely what exists.
In fact, the number of immigration-related laws and resolutions enacted by states surged to 333 last year, up from 32 in 2005, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And during the first three months of 2010, lawmakers introduced more than 1,000 bills and resolutions, though it's too early to tell how many will become law. Bills on topics such as employment verification and driver's license requirements are on the table in 45 states.
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Saturday, July 17, 2010
States and Immigration
In our federalism chapter, we have a box on state government policies on immigration (pp. 94-95). The Los Angeles Times provides an update: