RESPONSE OF STATE GOVERNMENT TO IMMIGRANTS|
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An important strategy for achieving
immigrant integration is to establish centers of leadership, coordination, resource management, and accountability within
state government. This collection contains reports and studies pertaining to the operation of such centers. It also includes
studies of changing political dynamics and restrictionist activities within states, as well as state policy initiatives to
promote the integration of immigrants, such as the issuance of driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.
ABSTRACTS AND LINKS
New American Integration Report: Building a stronger
and fairer New Jersey where New Americans are fully integrated,
New Jersey Department of Human
Services, October 14, 2020, 13 pp.
New Jersey is one of the most diverse states in the U.S. and home to more
than two million new Americans. As this report details, Governor Phil Murphy tasked the departments of Human Services and
Labor and Workforce Development with creating an Office of New Americans (ONA) to coordinate integration efforts within state
government. The report provides a profile of New Jersey’s immigrants and details the integration initiatives of
the Murphy administration. The three major goals of the ONA are: promoting community supports, including outreach and training,
to inform immigrants of available services and of their rights; partnering with advocacy groups and other organizations to
increase accessibility to state programs; and ensuring access to services by coordinating with other organizations. The departments
of Human Services and Labor and Workforce Development conducted extensive research into new Americans initiatives in other
states and cities; engaged with stakeholders to understand challenges to immigrant integration and existing local efforts
in New Jersey on integration; and developed a framework for designing the ONA. The framework’s guiding principles include
engaging directly with new American communities; promoting opportunity, equity and economic mobility; and building trust with
and protecting these communities. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, changed the priorities of the new office during its first
year. The ONA focused on outreach to immigrant and refugee communities, creating and sharing materials on income assistance
and supports available to all New Jerseyans during the pandemic, and presenting information to immigrant- and refugee-serving
organizations on resources for their clients. Finally, the ONA analyzed data on languages other than English spoken by state
residents to ensure effective outreach to immigrant and refugee groups in the COVID-19 response. (Erika Hernandez for
The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
State and Local Aid for Immigrants during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Innovating Inclusion,
Center for Migration Studies, July 8, 2020, 34 pp.
Roberto Suro & Hannah Findling
During the COVID-19 pandemic, immigrant workers in the United States were
overrepresented (74 percent of the foreign-born labor force) in essential sectors such as healthcare and food production and
yet often lacked the social safety nets made available to citizens. In this way, argue Roberto Suro and Hannah Findling, the
pandemic has highlighted the contradictory status of undocumented immigrants as “essential” yet “illegal,”
and has prompted unprecedented involvement of state and local governments on immigration issues, especially when the federal
government failed to provide relief. The Center for Migration Studies report State and Local Aid for Immigrants during
the COVID-19 Pandemic: Innovating Inclusion surveys these efforts to provide immigrants, particularly undocumented immigrants,
with economic safety nets, healthcare access and the chance to work unimpeded during the pandemic. Some of the state and local
policies highlighted in the report, often implemented in partnership with philanthropic groups or non-profits, include California’s
extension of the earned income tax credit to immigrants with young children; Illinois’ Medicaid coverage for low-income
seniors regardless of immigration status; governors’ executive orders waiving licensing requirements for foreign-educated
healthcare workers; and “essential worker” letters on state government letterheads that empower employers to designate
certain workers, including undocumented immigrants, as “essential” under federal guidelines. The authors argue
these efforts, while limited in reach at the time of publication, represent significant experiments with the potential to
spur broader immigration policy change. (Jillian DiPersio for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Inclusive Approach to Immigrants Who Are Undocumented Can Help Families and States Prosper,
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 21, 2019 (Updated December 19, 2019), 22 pp.
Erica Williams et al.
This report begins by reviewing the contributions that undocumented immigrants make to
their communities, including volunteering, mentoring young people, and paying taxes. The report also highlights federal and
state policies that marginalize and harm undocumented residents, covering in some detail a number of Trump administration
initiatives (e.g., ending DACA, limiting housing assistance, etc.). The authors suggest that although changes at the federal
level are unlikely in the short-term, states can take steps now to better integrate undocumented immigrants into mainstream
society. Four recommended policy changes are: 1) Expanding access to driver’s licenses, 2) Allowing undocumented students
to pay in-state tuition for public colleges, 3) Strengthening and enforcing labor laws, particularly with regards to wage
theft, and 4) Expanding access to health care to all children, regardless of immigration status. The authors suggest that
the benefits of each policy initiative extend to the non-immigrant population as well. For example, more effective enforcement
of labor laws raise standards for all workers. The authors acknowledge that the presence of more undocumented workers tends
to reduce the average pay of some populations, such as people with less than a high school education, but that the benefits
to working people overall from undocumented immigration outweigh these negative effects. (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State
Immigrant’s Rights Gain Ground in the States: 2018-2019,
National Immigration Law Center, December 2019, 40 pp.
Author: Tanya Broder
action to limit immigration and deport immigrants, there have been unprecedented strides in immigrant support at the state
and local levels. Immigrant’s Rights Gain Ground in States: 2018-2019 chronicles the successes of the “Winning
in the States” initiative of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). The initiative is designed to provide technical
assistance to selected states allowing them to achieve local policy victories. The states include: Colorado, New Jersey,
New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee and Wisconsin. The successes chronicled include passing legislation that allows undocumented
immigrants to receive driver’s licenses, increasing immigrant’s access to legal counsel, opening pathways to higher
education, increasing health care coverage options, and limiting state law enforcement involvement with Immigration and Customs
Enforcement. The report notes that the NILC’s actions were not always successful, and some states passed legislation
that would reduce legal protections and privacy for undocumented immigrants. The author emphasizes that the progress made
over the last two years can serve as a framework for bipartisan federal policy change in the future. (Clare Maxwell for
The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Driver’s Licenses for All? Racialized Illegality and the Implementation of Progressive
Immigration Policy in California,
Law and Policy, 41:1, 2019, 24 pp.
Authors: Laura E. Enriquez, Daisy Vazquez, & Karthick Ramakrishnan
This study reveals how Latinx immigrants in California have disproportionally benefited from California Assembly
Bill (A.B.) 60, while other immigrant groups have struggled to gain access to its benefits. AB60 makes driver’s licenses
available to unauthorized immigrants in the state. Through interviews and participant observations, the report argues that
the implementation of the bill was shaped by a “racialized immigration history” that sees illegality as a Latinx,
and particularly Mexican, issue in California despite the fact that Asian American and Pacific Islanders “have long
been the second largest group of contemporary undocumented immigrants,” tripling in number nationally between 2000 and
2015. This grounded history led Latinx-serving organizations to strongly advocate for and serve undocumented Latinx immigrants
thus improving their access to A.B. 60 driver’s licenses. The Non-Latinx communities, on the other hand, did not come
forward to apply for licenses in proportion to their percentage of the undocumented population. The authors identify
various reasons for this failure, including lack of language assistance at DMV offices, weaknesses in the infrastructure of
nonprofit organizations serving these communities, and lack of full cooperation from local consulates in producing identity
documents. The authors also speculate that racialized policing policies disproportionally targeting Latinos may prevent Asian
immigrants from coming forward. Progress has been made by immigrant-serving organizations to reracialize illegality as an
issue that affects the broader immigrant community in California. Yet, as states establish additional immigrant policies in
the future, these challenges must be considered in order to guarantee equal access to all immigrants. (Stephanie Depauw
for The Immigrant Learning Center’s Public Education Institute)
Report on State Immigration Laws,
National Conference of State Legislatures, Immigrant Policy Project,
January 2019, 11 pp.
Author: Ann Morse
The National Conference of State Legislatures produces an annual
report on immigration-related laws and resolutions passed at the state level. This 2018 report provides an overview of legislation
passed in 44 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and identifies trends in immigration-related policy-making.
The enacted laws of 2018 dealt with budget, education, law enforcement, health care and public benefits, among others. The
report includes a chart showing the number of immigration-related laws enacted on a year-by-year basis from 2010 to 2018 broken
down by category. According to the study, 31 percent of legislation in 2018 dealt with budgetary issues, e.g. providing appropriations
for immigration enforcement, English classes and immigrant integration programs. An important topic in 2018 was the expansion
of occupational licensing in fields experiencing labor shortages, e.g. nine states passed legislation that banned barriers
to licensing for immigrants with work authorization. Several states introduced legislation that urged federal action on issues
such as refugees and child migrants at the southern border. Issues related to human trafficking and voting made up the smallest
percentage of enacted immigration-related laws. The report includes capsule summaries of noteworthy pieces of legislation
in each of 11 different categories. (Mia Fasano for The Immigrant Learning Center's Public Education Institute)
States of Desire: How Immigration Law Allows States to Attract Desired Immigrants,
UC Davis Law Review, 52 (2018-2019), 49 pp.
Author: Leticia M. Saucedo
federal government have absolute power over immigration? According to the plenary power doctrine, one might think that
it has. However, proponents of the "New Federalism" dispute the continuing validity of this view, especially because
Congress has ceded considerable authority to the states in immigration matters. States of Desire: How Immigration
Law Allows States to Attract Desired Immigrants utilizes data from government, legal, academic and media sources
to support the argument that the federal government has granted significant powers to the states by either sharing authority in
areas of traditional state powers such as licensing, family and criminal laws or by incentivizing states to cooperate
in immigration enforcement and integration efforts. The author contends that states are using these powers to attract
the types of immigrants they want. After reviewing the extensive legal scholarship that has appeared in recent
years on the “new immigration federalism,” the author gives examples of how states wield their powers differently.
California, a state with policies and programs to promote immigrant integration, enacted laws that require employers
to notify employees whenever immigration agents ask to inspect employee records – legislation presumably designed
to protect that state’s large undocumented population and to ensure their continued contribution to the state’s
economy. In contrast, Alabama's preference for legally admitted guest workers over undocumented workers, resulted in laws
that penalize undocumented presence or work. In choosing their “desired” immigrants, the author recommends
that “each state should be able to attract the immigrants that make sense for the state given its constituencies, its
definition of its polity, and its economic position.”
What DACA Recipients Stand to Lose – and What States Can Do About It,
Center for American Progress, September 13, 2018, 17 pp.
Author: Silva Mathema
event that federal courts uphold the legality of the Trump administration’s decision to end the DACA program, and Congress
cannot agree on a legislative remedy, the Center for American Progress has produced this policy brief for states interested
in helping to “protect DACA recipients and provide some sense of normalcy in their daily lives...” One “life-changing”
step would be to extend driving privileges to all state residents. Currently, only 12 states have such a policy. Offering
municipal ID cards would also be helpful, enabling DACA recipients to open up bank accounts, pick up a prescription, cash
a check, or rent an apartment. Making higher education affordable through in-state tuition and state-funded financial
aid for individual students would also enable many DACA recipients to continue their education. Finally, while many
states have passed legislation allowing DACA recipients to access professional licenses, only two states (California and Illinois)
make professional licenses available to all residents regardless of immigration status. More states would have to expand
licensing eligibility to enable DACA recipients to enter the professions for which they have trained.
U.S. Immigration: A Primer for State Policy Makers
National Conference of State Legislatures, June 2018, 26 pp.
Author: Ann Morse
for state legislators provides a succinct summary of the various types of permanent and temporary categories of immigrants,
non-immigrants, and humanitarian migrants who come to the U.S., and the numbers who come in each category. Following this
overview, the author briefly describes key immigration laws enacted in the last half-century, and identifies the agencies
responsible for administering these laws. There is more detail on refugee resettlement, including the vetting process and
the network of national government, state government, and private organizations that help resettle refugees. The brief also
details the amount of funding provided to states by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and how it is allocated. Other
immigration issues that have been prominent in the news are discussed, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
and Temporary Protected Status (TPS), unaccompanied children, and the travel ban and related litigation. After the explanation
of federal law and policy, there is a discussion on trends in immigration laws introduced in the states in the last 20 years,
with a focus on “sanctuary” policies, refugees, DACA, and professional licenses. Following this, there is a discussion
of some of the published research on the economic and fiscal impacts of immigration. Appendices include a list of federal
agencies responsible for carrying out some aspect of immigration law; web links to selected research by government and private
organizations; and a chronology of key immigration policy directives and court decisions since the beginning of the Trump
administration. (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting)
Report of the Task Force on the Preservation of Heritage Language
Skills in Maryland,
In the Age of Trump: Populist Backlash and Progressive Resistance Create Divergent State Immigrant Integration
Transatlantic Council on Migration, January, 2018, 18 pp.
Author: Margie McHugh
The paper takes
a look at how policy changes being made by the Trump administration and the Republican Congress - and resistance to those
changes - are affecting immigrant integration in several arenas. The author also examines the likely consequences of other
proposed changes in immigration policy. As the administration seeks to draw local law enforcement into its efforts to deport
more immigrants, some states and localities have eagerly complied, but many of the nation's largest cities - and even some
states - have vigorously resisted. The administration's drastic cuts to the refugee resettlement program have also forced
hundreds of layoffs in resettlement organizations, compromising capacity not only to resettle new refugees, but to continue
to aid those already living in local communities. The head of the Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, is keenly interested
in reducing federal oversight in education, leaving more power to the states - a development that may translate into reduced
support in some states for English learners and other at-risk students. Looking ahead, Republican in Congress and the Trump
administration are seeking to reduce public benefit programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),
which will impact millions of immigrant families. Refugee admissions in 2018 may fall below even the record low ceiling set
this year, doing further damage to the nation's resettlement infrastructure. Pending changes to public charge regulations
may make individuals deportable for using any benefit for which eligibility is determined based on income. The report
concludes by noting that states and the courts have become the new major players on immigration and integration policy matters,
and in the coming year "sharp differences in state contexts of reception and integration will remain the norm and likely
deepen"(Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Associates).
Coming to America,State Policies on Immigrant Integration: An Examination of Best Practices and Policy Diffusion,
State Legislatures Magazine, December, 2017, 4 pp.
Author: Ann Morse
Despite the prominence
of immigration in the national political discourse, there has been little federal legislative action on immigration, and Americans
know surprisingly little about immigrants and the U.S. immigration system. “Coming to America,” published by the
National Conference of State Legislatures utilizes data from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
and the National Bureau of Economic Research to offer basic facts on immigration to the U.S; show how immigrants contribute
to economic growth and, over time, integrate into social and civic life; and describe state initiatives to address immigration
issues. For example, after 20 years in the U.S., refugees who arrived as adults each paid about $21,000 more in taxes than
they received in benefits. Despite the lack of progress at the federal level, states have considered an average of 1,300 bills
and resolutions every year since the early 2000s ranging from budget-related measures to laws requiring employers to use the
E-verify system to prove that new hires are authorized to work in the U.S. The article highlights states’ actions in
response to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and general immigration enforcement and integration
challenges. For instance, all states issued drivers’ licenses to DACA recipients, and some states offered in-state tuition
and granted professional licenses to unauthorized immigrants. Even though immigration reform requires a national response,
the author concludes that states’ experiences are instructive in developing policy solutions for achieving immigrant
integration and more prosperous communities. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
University of California (Riverside) School of Public Policy Working Paper, February, 2016, 20 pp.
Authors: Allan Colbern & Karthick Ramakrishnan
This paper focuses on actions being taken
by states, counties and municipalities that bolster immigrant integration. The authors believe that since comprehensive
immigration reform is stalled at the federal level, these sub-federal level activities are growing in importance and influence.
Drawing on research and the input of participants in several focus group discussions, the authors review findings in four
specific domains: policymaking, implementation, organizational capacity and community-engaged research. For each topic,
they provide examples from multiple locales and provide suggestions for best practices. A key theme that emerges as
part of the discussion is the need to think carefully about how immigrant integration efforts should be framed. The
authors suggest that advocates should draw on a broader sense of community, rather than focusing on the needs of one segment
of society. For example, they believe that themes of public safety, workforce development and the ideals of non-discrimination
are likely to generate support for immigrant integration policies. The authors also argue for a strategy of incremental
policy change, rather than comprehensive reform packages. They believe that this approach is less likely to generate backlash
and creates precedents that can be built on. In keeping with this approach, the authors stress the importance of long-term
planning and see the value of investing time and resources in network building, especially coalitions connecting groups working
on related issues. They believe that anti-immigration forces are well coordinated, so all of those in favor of immigrant
integration must work together (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University).
Providing driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants in California improves traffic safety,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114:6 (2017), 5 pp.
Hans Lueders, Jens Hainmueller & Duncan Lawrence
This paper presents an analysis of the
impact of a law passed in California (AB60) providing driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants. In addition to other concerns,
opponents of the law suggested that providing these individuals with driver's licenses would increase the number of car accidents
generally, and hit-and-run accidents in particular. The study's authors conducted a statistical analysis of accidents
in 2015 (the first year AB60 was implemented) at the county-by-county level, which allowed them to account for regional differences
in the number of AB60 licenses being issued. Their analysis found that the implementation of AB60 had no impact on the
overall number of accidents, but was seen to be correlated with a reduction of hit-and-run accidents. They calculate that
4,000 fewer of these accidents occurred because of AB60. The paper provides an explanation of the multiple regression
models they used and potential explanations for the changes (e.g., having a driver's license and insurance reduces the chances
an unauthorized immigrant driver will feel compelled to flee the scene of a hit-and-run accident to avoid deportation).
The authors conclude that accident-based concerns about the impact of providing authorized immigrants with driver's licenses
are not supported by the data, and that the law might have saved not-at-fault drivers in hit-and-run accidents about $3,500,000.
They caution that the study only looked at one year and that the long-term impact can not be extrapolated from this study.
(Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University)
Stepping into the Vacuum: States and Cities Act on Immigration, But Do Restrictions Work?
Migration Policy Institute, November 3, 2016, 13 pp.
Author: Barbara Gómez-Aguiñaga
strategy of "attrition through enforcement" work? In this paper, the author seeks to determine whether restrictive
state-level immigration laws passed between 2005 and 2010 succeeded in reducing the size of the undocumented and general immigrant
population in those states. According to the author, this study is "among the first to examine whether immigrants reach
to such laws by leaving or remaining." Of the 868 immigration laws reviewed by the author, 441 were classified as restrictive,
423 were immigrant-friendly, and 4 were neutral. The states that enacted the most restrictive laws were Arizona, Colorado,
Georgia, Utah, Virginia, and Tennessee, with more than 20 each. In addition to demographic data for these states, the author
also looked at change in median household income and the percentage of the population living below the federal poverty level.
The analysis found no statistically significant correlation between restrictive state immigration laws and reductions in the
undocumented or general immigrant population. Rather, changes in median household income were predictive of changes in the
size of the immigrant population. "States with higher median incomes were more likely to see growth in their overall
immigrant population over this period, regardless of whether they had enacted restrictive immigration legislation."
State Fact Sheets
Institute for Immigration Research, George Mason University
for 12 immigrant gateway states, these two-page Fact Sheets are designed to provide concise economic and other data for use
by policy-makers and other concerned individuals. The Fact Sheets include information on workforce participation rates, self-employment,
immigrant tax contributions, and home ownership, as well as the percentage of immigrants in key industries. Data
is provided at both the state and congressional district levels.
2015 Immigration Report,
National Conference of State Legislatures, Immigrant Policy Project, July 31, 2015, 12 pp.
in 46 states and Puerto Rico enacted more laws and resolutions related to immigration from January to June 2015 compared to
the same period last year: 153 laws and 238 resolutions (a 16 percent increase). These are summarized in the 2015 Report
on State Immigration Laws from the National Conference of State Legislatures. Most new laws (35 laws in 24 states, or
23 percent overall) were for budgeting purposes such as authorizing funds for immigration enforcement, health services, and
migrant and refugee programs. Education was the second-highest category covered by the new laws; 23 laws in 14 states (or
15 percent of new laws). Many laws addressed immigration and residency requirements for access to higher education; seven
states included portions of the federal naturalization exam in high school civics requirements. Attitudes towards the undocumented
differed between states; for example, a new Rhode Island law ensured all homeless people have the right to homeless shelter
services regardless of immigration status, while a measure passed in Maine clarified that only non-citizens lawfully present
in the U.S. will be eligible for general assistance. Other areas of legislative focus included driver's licenses, human trafficking
and voting. Delaware and Hawaii enacted legislation to give unauthorized immigrants driving privileges, while California established
a statewide director of immigrant integration. (Crystal Ye for The ILC Public Education Institute).
The California Package: Immigrant Integration and the Evolving Nature of State Citizenship
Policy Matters, University of California (Riverside), Spring, 2015, 19 pp.
Authors: S. Karthick Ramakrishnan & Allan
After states and localities in the mid-2000s passed a rash of laws designed to strengthen immigration
enforcement, momentum began to shift in 2012 towards pro-immigrant laws designed to achieve greater immigrant integration.
The state of California was a leader of this movement, producing what the authors of this article describe as the "California
Package" of legislation, including laws on postsecondary education, driver licenses, professional licenses, health care,
and limits on cooperation with federal immigration law enforcement. After summarizing these laws, the authors
attempt to answer the empirical question as to why this change from Arizona-style laws to California-style laws took place
in the first place. Two important factors were the defeat of Mitt Romney in 2012 and the decision of the immigrant rights
advocacy community to focus its energies on policy battles in the states. The authors also suggest that the "California
Package" represents "a de facto regime of state citizenship...that operates in parallel to national citizenship."
This "alternative form of civic membership" remains largely unexplored by citizenship scholars, who
tend to see various levels of government working together to establish full citizenship. Even if comprehensive immigration
reform is ultimately passed by Congress, California blurs the distinction between unauthorized and authorized immigrants,
by not imposing a time requirement for what the author calls "life chances and free presence." This "decoupling"
of state and federal citizenship raises important legal questions as to whether the court system will ultimately set limits
on sub-national pro-immigrant legislation or whether the Tenth Amendment protects state rights to enact laws protecting their
The California Blueprint: Two Decades of Pro-Immigrant Transformation,
National Immigration Law Center, May, 2015, 7 pp.
This report provides capsule summaries of 29 pieces of pro-immigrant legislation that the State of California has
passed over the last two decades. Some laws were intended to counteract two 1996 congressional acts that greatly restricted
immigrant eligibility for federally-funded benefit programs. Other laws sought to prevent the entanglement of the police with
the "machinery of deportation." Still other laws were designed to protect the rights of immigrant workers, such
as a 2014 law that mandates the suspension of a business license for an employer who retaliates against immigrants by reporting
their status to the federal government. The last part of the report describes legislation in the areas of higher education,
civil rights, child welfare, naturalization, and services for DACA recipients. (Louisa Johnson for The ILC Public Education
Share the Road: Allowing Eligible Undocumented Residents Access to Driver's Licenses Makes Sense for
New Jersey Policy Perspective, September, 2014, 14 pp.
Author; Erika J. Nava
This report presents
a series of arguments in support of issuing driver's licenses to eligible undocumented immigrants. The author groups these
arguments into three categories: making New Jersey safer, helping New Jersey's economy, and increasing the well being of families.
She notes that states that were early adopters of license or privilege cards have seen reductions in fatal accidents, along
with reductions in the percentage of drivers without insurance. Among the economic benefits of issuing licenses are: reductions
in insurance premiums for all drivers, increases in state revenue from licensing and vehicle registration fees, and increases
in tax revenue from the new job opportunities that would open up to newly licensed drivers. Finally, families would not be
constantly haunted by the threat of deportation (for driving without a license or insurance); children would be relieved of
the anxiety of separation from a parent and would be more successful in school, and parents would be able to better meet the
needs of their children, e.g. driving them to school or to doctors' appointments. The report also recommends some changes
in the wording of a bill introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly (A-2135) to grant drivers' licenses to undocumented residents.
An appendix to the report contains capsule summaries of the legislation passed by the 11 states that currently permit undocumented
individuals to obtain licenses.
Undocumented No More: The Power of State Citizenship,
Stanford Law Review, August 20, 2014, 42 pp.
Author: Peter L. Markowitz
The author of this article,
a professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardoza School of Law (Yeshiva University), played a key role in drafting a bill introduced
into the New York State legislature in June of 2014 that would grant state citizenship to qualified undocumented immigrants.
The article attempts to show that there are no constitutional reasons why states cannot broaden the boundaries of citizenship
beyond the "floor" established by the federal constitution. A movement on the part of "integrationist"
states to grant citizenship would not only "stabilize families and encourage healthy economic activity," but it
would also "reorient our national immigration discourse" and "move us closer to eventual federal reform."
According to the author, state initiatives on marriage equality and the legalization of medical marijuana are examples of
how states, acting as "policymaking laboratories," can serve as "engines that drive progressive national political
changes." The article is divided into three parts. The first part explains how the nation's federalist structure
and long-standing Supreme Court precedent "preserve a robust role for the states in controlling the parameters of their
own citizenry." Part II explains why the preemption clause of the Constitution does not bar the states from extending
citizenship to qualified undocumented immigrants, and Part III describes the benefits of broadened citizenship to local communities.
State-Based Visas: A Federalist Approach to Reforming U.S. Immigration Policy,
Cato Institute, April 23, 2014, 15 pp.
Authors: Brandon Fuller & Sean Rust
This policy paper
makes the case for a state-based visa program similar to proposals floated by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Kentucky
Senator Rand Paul. Such a program "would allow participating states to manage the flow and regulate the quantity of temporary
migrants who want to live and work within their borders." Visas could be renewed, and immigrants would be free to change
employers within the state and even apply for permanent residence. Such a program would direct immigration to states that
want it and away from states that don't. The report looks at two international models that, the authors believe, provide important
lessons for the U.S: The Canadian Provincial Nominee Program, established in 1998 to encourage immigrants to disperse throughout
Canada; and Australia's Regional Immigration Program, which allows states, localities, and even employers to sponsor immigrants.
According to the authors, both programs "work well." This type of program doesn't take the federal government
out of the immigration business. It would continue to set entry criteria, determine the number of state-based visas, and perform
security checks. The authors also believe that a state-based visa program "would be more equitable than existing employment-based
visas," which make it difficult for workers to leave dishonest and exploitive employers.
Living in Car Culture Without a License,
Immigration Policy Center, April 24, 2014, 5 pp.
Author: Sarah E. Hendricks
Although 11 states have extended driver's license eligibility to undocumented immigrants,
there are still millions of people who are barred from obtaining licenses. This paper makes the case for expanding eligibility,
drawing special attention to the public safety dimensions of the issue. Noting that the United States is "one of
the top motor vehicle-dependent countries in the world," and that the economic survival and social integration of immigrants
often require access to a personal vehicle, the author points out that licensing ensures that people are qualified to drive,
that they carry insurance, and that they don't drive without a license and thereby endanger the lives of others. Beyond these
aspects of the problem, licensing also enables undocumented immigrants, both potential business owners and employees, to make
a stronger economic contribution to local communities. Without licenses, states must contend with serious "ripple
effects," including chronic poverty among undocumented people, a narrowing of opportunity for their children, and possible
escalation of gang activity. According to the author, granting licenses is a "pragmatic step" ensuring "the
well-being of communities" and "the long-term social and economic adjustment process of immigrants and their children."
Understanding Immigration Federalism in the United States
Center for American Progress, March, 2014, 41 pp.
Authors: Karthick Ramakrishnan and Pratheepan Gulasekaram
a decade in which anti-immigrant sentiment fuelled restrictive legislation in several states, most notably Arizona's harsh
S.B. 1070 immigration enforcement law that was copied by other states, the tide has been shifting. Today, at least 13 jurisdictions
provide driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and a growing list of states offer in-state tuition rates to all residents.
In Understanding Immigration Federalism in the United States, the authors look at the reasons behind both the anti-immigrant
and immigrant-friendly waves of legislation and find that several key factors help explain the shift. Most notably, the political
leaning of the individual states was the crucial force behind the various legislations; Republican-led states were more likely
to embrace restrictive laws while innovations like identification cards for undocumented immigrants are offered in solely
Democratic-controlled cities. The Supreme Court decision that struck down a key S.B. 1070 provision as well as President Barack
Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive action prompted states to fall in line and to reexamine their directions
of their laws. And an increasingly important factor is the growth of the Latino electorate, which is gradually gaining influence
on political decisions. The authors suggest that, in place of stalled comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level,
states will continue this trend of taking the lead on immigrant-friendly policy. (Denzil Mohammed)
2013 Immigration Report,
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), January 20, 2014, 8 pp.
This report is NCSL's annual
review of state legislative activity on immigration-related issues. NCSL notes a major change in focus from an emphasis
on law enforcement in previous years to some expansion of benefits in 2013. Overall, there was an increase of 18 percent in
enacted legislation in 2013, with 184 laws passed in 2013 compared to 156 in 2012. Eight states - California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon and Vermont - joined New Mexico, Utah and Washington in extending driver's license eligibility
to undocumented immigrants. Four states - Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Oregon - provided in-state college tuition
for qualified undocumented immigrant students, bringing to 15 the total number of states that allow this practice. The
report includes a table enumerating immigration-related legislation passed over a three year period (2011-2013) in each of
the following categories: budgets, education, employment, health, human trafficking, ID/driver's licenses and other licenses,
law enforcement, miscellaneous, omnibus measures, public benefits, and voting. The report also provides details about
the 2013 legislation.
2013 Immigration Report,
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), September 6, 2013, 10 pp.
The number of immigration-related
laws and resolutions passed in the states increased 83% in the first half of 2013 compared to the same period last year. According
to this report by the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislature's Immigrant Policy Project, the top issues occupying
the attention of state legislators were eligibility for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards, and resolutions
recognizing the contributions of immigrants. Other laws dealt with seasonal workers, refugees and undocumented immigrants.
While NCSL does not suggest a reason for the spike in legislative activity, the report notes that it coincides with the implementation
of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and the Supreme Court's Arizona v. United States ruling. The report
also calls attention to diverging legislative paths depending on whether Republicans or Democrats control the state legislature.
Republican-controlled legislatures in states like Indiana, Virginia and Florida were more likely to restrict access to driver's
licenses, in-state tuition, health benefits and jobs. Democratic-controlled legislatures in states like Colorado, Maryland
and Oregon were more likely to expand such access. Despite this increase in state-level action, the report notes that 25 resolutions
entreated the federal government to pass immigration reform. (Denzil Mohammed)
Inclusive Policies Advance Dramatically in the States: Immigrants' Access to Driver's Licenses,
Higher Education, Workers' Rights and Community Policing,
National Immigration Law Center (NILC), August, 2013, 20 pp.
In this report, NILC provides a detailed summary of 2013 state legislative and executive action "designed to
integrate immigrants more fully into their communities." The report notes that restrictive legislation was "markedly
absent," with only one state (Georgia) enacting a law mandating the use of "secure and verifiable" identity
documents. By contrast, seven states and Puerto Rico joined three existing states in providing access to driver's licenses
regardless of immigration status; five states joined 13 existing states in adopting laws or policies providing tuition relief
to qualified undocumented students; and the State of Hawaii joined New York in passing a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights.
Beyond these developments, NILC also reports on pending pro-immigrant legislative activity, e.g. bills under consideration
in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Oregon to extend workplace protections to domestic workers, and "tuition
equity" bills in Virginia, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. The report also reviews state and local efforts to
limit police involvement in immigration law enforcement. NILC concludes that "this year's pro-immigrant legislative and
administrative victories reflect a shift in attitude across much of the country."
Immigration is Changing the Political Landscape in Key States,
Center for American Progress, April 8, 2013, 12 pp.
Authors: Philip E. Wolgin & Ann Garcia
In this issue brief, the authors discuss how immigration, and specifically the growing importance of the Latino electorate,
are altering the political balance in key states. In California, Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Virginia, Republican-sponsored,
anti-immigrant measures and/or harsh campaign rhetoric have moved those states into the Democratic column. The authors suggest
that continued growth in the Latino and immigrant electorate, even in reliably red states such as Arizona, North Carolina,
Georgia, and Texas, will tilt the political balance even further, unless Republicans support immigration reform and pay attention
to an increasingly diverse electorate.
Examining Maryland's Views on Immigrants and Immigration,
University of Baltimore Law Forum, 33 pp.
Author: Elizabeth Keyes
This paper finds that Maryland's
response to immigration has been both complex and contradictory. While the state eventually passed legislation granting in-state
tuition to undocumented high school students (by referendum in 2012) and continues to attract high-skilled immigrant workers in health care and technology,
jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction enforcement of immigration law varies widely. The geographic split mirrors divisions that existed
in the state over the issue of slavery in the 19th century. Frederick County, for example, uses local police
to enforce immigration law and participates in the federal government‘s 287(g) partnership, while the City of Baltimore
refrains from such cooperation and actively works to attract immigrants. This paper examines Maryland's "split personality"
on immigration against the backdrop of federal actions and inactions. In the absence of federal immigration reform, the state's
divergent policy reactions fail to resolve "the federal-level contradictions but simply shifts their playing field."
The author concludes that congressional paralysis on immigration "has inexcusably moved a contentious political conversation
to a level of government with no authority to address its real substance." Maryland's inability to find uniform solutions
to the challenges of immigration offers a cautionary tale making it all the more essential that the federal government create
a more sustainable and rational immigration policy. (Denzil Mohammed)
Restrictive State and Local Immigration Laws: Solutions in Search of Problems,
American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Issue Brief,
Authors: Pratheepan Gulasekaram & S. Karthick Ramakrishnan
study challenges the assumption that restrictive state and local immigration ordinances are driven by demographic and other
changes on the state and local level, e.g. growth of the immigrant (especially undocumented) population, and the "failure"
of the federal government to combat the problem. One of the better-known proponents of this view, according to the authors,
was Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote in his dissent to the 2012 Arizona v. United States decision
that "Arizona bears the brunt of the country's illegal immigration problem..." Reinforcing the pervasiveness of
this view has been the emphasis on "new destinations" in the immigration narrative, which suggests that local communities
without a recent migration history have been overwhelmed by the arrival of new immigrants. Through the authors' study of over
25,000 local jurisdictions in all 50 states, they found that the demographic explanation had "no predictive power."
Indeed, "what most subfederal jurisdictions with immigration enforcement laws share is not economic stress or overconsumption
of public goods or heightened violent crime, but rather a partisan composition within their legislative and executive branches
that is highly receptive to enforcement heavy proposals." Cities in Republican-majority areas are four times more
likely to pass restrictive ordinances, whereas cities with Democratic majorities are four times more likely to pass pro-immigrant
measures. Fearful of antagonizing Republican primary voters who "care intensely about immigration," elected
Republican officials are either voted out by more conservative challengers or embrace restrictive positions. At the same time,
"restrictive issue entrepreneurs," such as the leaders of FAIR and NumbersUSA "purposefully promote legislative
gridlock at the federal level, and then cite the very national legislative inaction they helped foment to justify restrictive
solutions at the local level." The authors also take issue with Professor Peter Spiro's "steam-valve" theory,
which posits that the passage of local restrictive ordinances relieves pressure on the federal government to pass similar
legislation. Finally, they predict that these political dynamics, despite the results of the 2012 presidential election,
will make national legislative change "difficult to achieve" and even if national immigration reform passes, anti-immigrant
politicians may continue to proliferate restrictive legislation on the local level as a way of holding on to power.
The Partisan Fallout from Arizona's Immigration Battle: Applying Lessons from California,
Binghamton University & Boise State University, September, 2012, 33 pp.
This study seeks to predict
the political future of Arizona after passage of SB 1070, a law aimed at identifying, prosecuting and deporting undocumented
immigrants, most of whom are from Mexico. Critics of the law have argued that both documented and undocumented Latino residents
would be subject to racial profiling. Sixteen years earlier, voters in California supported Proposition 187, a referendum
that sought to deny government services, such as public education and health care, to undocumented immigrants, primarily Latinos.
According to the authors, "the memories of Prop 187 were long lasting for many Latinos who came of age and became politically
active during this time period." California Latinos shifted toward the Democratic Party "and have never shifted
back." As a result, this episode has decisively altered the political landscape of the state. The authors note that "half
of Arizona's Latino citizens are 18 or under" suggesting a significant demographic shift in the state's electorate "just
as immigration politics are boiling over." The likely consequence of SB 1070, therefore, will be to end longstanding
Republican dominance in Arizona "as early as 2020." (Denzil Mohammed)
The Economic Case against Arizona's Immigration Laws,
Cato Institute, September 25, 2012, 20 pp.
This study examines the social, demographic and economic
effects of Arizona's immigration laws, specifically the Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007 (LAWA) and SB 1070 law of 2010.
The author contends that such stringent immigration laws have hurt Arizona's economy and that this unforeseen result should
be weighed by other states mulling the possibility of mimicking Arizona's laws. Both the LAWA and SB 1070 focus on curbing
a rise in illegal immigration to the state. LAWA mandates the use of E-Verify, which checks the status of employees, and revokes
business licenses for employers who hire unauthorized workers. SB 1070 authorizes local police to enforce immigration laws.
The author uses data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census and Federal Trade Commission to probe the effects of these
laws. The E-Verify system has proven to be a regulatory obstacle for businesses. The threat of license revocation burdened
business-owners with costly employee verification hurdles. Employers scaled back legal hiring, moved out of Arizona or turned
to the informal economy. The effects of SB 1070 were to drive some unauthorized immigrants from the state thereby lowering
Arizona's population, restricting the labor market, accelerating residential property price declines and exacerbating "the
Great Recession in Arizona." (Denzil Mohammed)
The States of Immigration,
William & Mary Law Review, June 14, 2012, 54 pp.
In seeking to understand the recent "avalanche
of state activity" on immigration-related issues, the author of this paper argues that state policy-making, both laws
seeking stricter enforcement of immigration laws, e.g. Arizona SB 1070, and laws seeking leniency, e.g. in-state tuition laws,
are examples of what the author calls "venue-shifting," i.e. attempts to influence the outcome of federal policy
debates by incubating policy initiatives at the state and local level. The traditional view of state policymaking is that
the states serve as policy laboratories or that they tailor policy to local circumstances. However, through the long
course of American history, state initiatives in immigration have been rarely enforced. "They are either enjoined or
struck down, or they are not prioritized." The author discusses two case examples to support his argument: state
legislative activity leading up to the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 and the Illegal Immigration
and Immigrant Responsibilities Act of 1996. State activity preceding passage of these acts "became the baseline for the
federal laws that followed." He concludes that "state laws cannot always be taken at face value; sometimes
their most important function is as a means of shaping policy at the federal (or local) level."
A History and Analysis of Recent Immigrant Integration Initiatives in Five States,
Diversity Dynamics, 2012, 35 pp.
During a three-year period from
2005 to 2008, governors in five states (Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington) issues executive orders
launching ambitious projects to integrate immigrants into the economic, civic, and social life of their states. This study
examines the genesis of these projects, their goals, methodology, and outcomes. The study includes an analysis of the strengths
and "vulnerabilities" of these projects and concludes with a series of recommendations to ensure that such projects
are not "shipwrecked by the emotionally charged politics surrounding immigration." In preparing this study, the
author Dr. Nicholas V. Montalto, reviewed the extant literature and interviewed key informants in the five states. This study
is based on a paper presented at the International Metropolis Conference in The Hague in 2010.
The Myth of Self-Deportation: How Behavioral Economics Reveals the Fallacies behind "Attrition
Immigrant Policy Center, April, 2012, 10 pp.
This report cites
research findings from cognitive psychology and behavioral economic that cast doubt on the validity of the "attrition
through enforcement" philosophy, which predicts that undocumented immigrants will "self-deport" to their home
countries if sufficient enforcement pressure is applied on the state and local levels. In states and localities where
such enforcement has been tried, there is a dearth of hard evidence that self-deportation actually occurs. According
to the author Alexandra Filindra, "expected utility theory" from classical economics fails to explain the behavior
of unauthorized immigrants, who "hate to lose a lot more than they like to win." So that even if you pile
up potential losses in the future, resulting from the greater risk of incarceration, deportation and loss of livelihood, immigrants
are unwilling to sacrifice their past gains, including the jobs they have , the homes they may own, the networks they have
developed, and the children who have been raised and educated in the U.S. The author concludes that "laws
such as those of Arizona and Alabama...will lead to the development of a racialized, marginalized caste of people with no
rights - a shameful development for a country that prides itself on its democratic and inclusive institutions."
A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the New Alabama Immigration Law,
University of Alabama, January, 2012, 9 pp.
study seeks to determine whether the benefits of the 2011 Alabama law on immigration -- the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer
and Citizen Protection Act -- are worth its costs. The author discusses four types of potential benefits including (a)
saving funds used to provide public benefits to unauthorized immigrants, (b) increased safety for citizens and legal residents,
(c) more business, employment, and education opportunities, and (d) ensuring the integrity of various governmental programs.
These factors are analyzed against potential costs including (a) implementation, enforcement, and litigation expenses, (b)
increased costs and inconveniences for citizens, other legal residents, and businesses, (c) fewer economic development opportunities,
and (d) the economic impact of reduced aggregate demand due to population loss. The analysis suggests that anticipated
benefits across all four categories are minor compared to projected costs, and that many of the benefits may not even be realized.
The author gives special consideration to the impact of reduced aggregate demand, as aggregate demand serves as the
basis for economic growth. For FY 2012, the author gives high-end estimates of $5.8 billion dollar loss in individual
earnings, $10.8 billion dollar loss in state Gross Domestic Product, $264.5 million dollar loss in state income and sales
taxes, and $93.1 million dollar loss in local sales tax. Although "the law is well-intentioned," the reduction
in aggregate demand alone seems to negate the potential benefits of the law. (Patricia Lundgren)
One Year Later: A Look at SB 1070 and Copycat Legislation,
National Council of La Raza, April 18, 2011, 15 pp.
Arizona SB 1070 was signed into law on April 23, 2010, attempts to pass similar legislation in many states appear to have
stalled. This report analyzes the forces that have slowed the advance of this type of legislation. So far in 2011, eleven
of 24 states considering copycat legislation have defeated such bills or denied them consideration. In several states,
cost factors seemed to have weighed heavily on legislators' minds. In Kentucky, for example, the Kentucky Legislative Research
Commission issued a fiscal impact statement estimating the cost of implementation at $89 million per year. In other states,
the business community exerted pressure on state legislators, contending that key industries, such as agriculture in Georgia
and ranching in Utah, would lose workers and suffer huge losses.
Lessons from the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act,
Public Policy Institute of California, March, 2011,
2007, Arizona passed the legal Arizona Worker Act (LAWA), which requires employers to use E-Verify, a national identity and
work authorization verification system. This study examines the labor market impacts of this law, through comparisons with
neighboring states without such legislation. The study attempts to control for the impact of the recession. The researchers
find that the law had both intended and unintended consequences. On the one hand, it reduced the number of unauthorized workers
in the state by about 92,000, or 17% - the stated goal of the legislation. On the other, it increased the self-employment
rate by about 8%, or a "LAWA-induced increase" of roughly 25,000 self-employed Hispanic non-citizens - the demographic
group with the largest numbers of unauthorized workers. These "findings raise questions about the unintended effect of
LAWA in expanding underground economies." The authors speculate that an E-Verify mandate for the entire country -- reducing
options for interstate migration -- would lead not only to reduced illegal migration into the country and increased emigration,
but also to a marked shift toward less formal employment.
Annual Report to the People of New Jersey,
New Jersey Commission on New Americans, December, 2010, 10 pp.
by executive order on January 12, 2010, the New Jersey Commission on New Americans is obligated to report annually to the
governor and legislature. This is the first report of the Commission. Each of the Commissions four committees: education,
labor and workforce development, social services and health care, and immigrant integration, were asked to make recommendations
that could be implemented at "no cost or low cost." The report concludes with seven major recommendations,
two of which pertain to the role of One-Stop Career Centers in New Jersey.
A Case Study of Color-Blindness: The Racially Disparate Impacts of Arizona's SB 1070 and
the Failure of Comprehensive Immigration Reform,
University of California, Davis,
Legal Studies Research Paper Series, October, 2010, 42 pp.
This paper argues that the use of "race-neutral" language in the immigration debate, i.e.
terms like "illegal alien" and "what part of illegal do you not understand?" cloaks the racist intent,
or at the very least "disparate racial impact," of measures like Arizona SB 1070. As it is no longer socially acceptable
in the United States to voice overtly racist views, the "coded" discourse on immigration advances the same racist
agenda and explains the passion and vitriol that surround the immigration issue. "One might even view the enforcement
of the U.S. immigration laws as a facially neutral - and thus presumably legal and legitimate - form of racial discrimination."
The author also comments on the racial impact of the failure of comprehensive immigration reform over the last decade.
Inaction on federal immigration legislation allows for "the maintenance of a racial caste of undocumented immigrants...denied
the fundamental protections available to other workers under federal labor, and...subject to continued exploitation in the
Rising to the Immigrant Integration Challenge: What States are Doing - and Can
National Governors Association (NGA), Center for Best Practices, November
4, 2009, 19 pp (Link no longer active)
Noting that many governors are beginning
to realize "that states can facilitate successful (immigrant) integration" and thereby bring about "tremendous
economic and social benefit" to their states," this report reviews some recent steps that states have taken to pursue
this goal, including innovations in cross-departmental leadership, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and English and
citizenship education. The report concludes with some specific strategies that seem to hold the greatest promise of success,
including: raising the visibility of immigrant integration as an issue; gathering good data to inform policy development;
maximizing partnerships with local government, nonprofits, and the private sector; facilitating government access and collaboration;
and designing an effective communication strategy.
A Plan for Today, A Plan for Tomorrow: Building a Stronger
Washington through Immigrant Integration
A Year One Report from the Washington New Americans Policy Council, October, 2009, 48
Established through an executive order issued by Governor Christine
O. Gregoire in February of 2008, the 15-member Washington New Americans Policy Council was charged with developing policy
recommendations on issues such as citizenship promotion, English language acquisition, and skill recertification.
This report summarizes the Council's nine key recommendations, which include a three-year "We Want to Learn English"
campaign; public funding and employer incentives to promote naturalization; strategies to provide "one stop" information
to immigrants; issuance of a language access executive order requiring all state agencies to assess their effectiveness in
reaching and serving language minorities, with oversight and technical assistance provided by an Office of Language Access;
strategies for career re-entry for immigrant and refugee professionals, including a review of licensing board procedures;
trust-building measures with law enforcement agencies; and public celebrations of immigrant contributions to the state. A
final recommendation asks the Governor to continue the Policy Council for at least one more year "to work with state
agencies to implement year one srecommendation" and to address other important issues which the Council did not have
sufficient time to consider.
Massachusetts New Americans Agenda,
The Governor's Advisory
Council for Refugees and Immigrants (GACRI), October 1, 2009, 54 pp.
Made up of 30 people representing 11 state
agencies and 19 community groups or constituencies, GACRI was created by executive order of Governor Deval Patrick on July
9, 2008 and charged with developing "a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrate (the
state's) immigrant and refugee populations..." The New Americans Agenda contains 131 recommendations in 12
topical areas: civil rights, adult English language proficiency, economic development, education, public safety, employment
and workforce development, access to state services, citizenship assistance, health, refugees, youth, and housing and community
development. The publication of the Agenda constitutes the "first phase" of an expected, long-term process
of state government reform. Upon receipt of the Agenda, the Governor appointed a special 15-member interagency work group
to develop implementation plans within 90 days. Coordination and support for plan implementation will be provided by the Massachusetts
Office for Refugees and Immigrants (MORI).
A Fresh Start: Renewing Immigrant Integration for a Stronger Maryland,
Report of the Maryland Council for New Americans, August, 2009, 65 pp
In December of 2008, the Governor of Maryland created by executive
order the Maryland Council for New Americans and charged it with producing a report that would "review and recommend
new policies and practices to expedite immigrant integration into the economic and civic life of the State." The Council's
report contains 15 "general recommendation" in four broad areas: workforce, citizenship, financial services, and
governmental access. A series of "best practice" vignettes are scattered throughout the document. The Council considers
its "primary recommendation" to be the establishment of a Cabinet-level Office for New Americans "empowered
to oversee implementation of reform and compliance in coordination with the Governor's priorities."
Report to New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine,
The Governor's Blue Ribbon Advisory
Panel on Immigrant Policy, Executive Summary, March, 2009, 36 pp.
On August 6, 2007, New Jersey Governor
Jon Corzine signed an executive order creating a Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy charged with making "recommendations
for a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrate the rapidly growing immigrant population in
New Jersey." Over the course of 18 months, the panel, consisting of 34 members (seven representatives of state departments,
25 public members, and two legislators) studied a broad range of issues, considered testimony at three public hearings,
and produced a report with 98 recommendations in four broad topical areas: social services, labor and workforce issues, education,
and state and local government. The panel also produced appendices in separate files. More than 300 pages in length,
the appendices include a study on in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants and a proposal for the creation of a Governor's
Commission on New Americans. In addition, the NJ Department of the Public Advocate produced transcripts
of the testimony delivered at the three public hearings.These documents, including the full report, are no longer found in
the public domain.
In 2004, the Portuguese government opened two
"National Immigrant Support Centers," in the cities of Lisbon and Porto, in an effort to implement a "one-stop-shop,"
or "welcome center" approach to immigrant integration. In 2007, the European Commission funded the development of
an international network to assess the Portuguese model and "to examine the feasibility of its implementation in other
EU member states." This Handbook presents the results of this study. In general, the handbook speaks glowingly
of the model, although acknowledging the need to adapt it to local circumstances. The report covers such issues as the out-stationing
of government employees at the centers, the role of "cultural mediators" and immigrant organizations in center operations,
and the financial and human resources necessary for implementation.
Final Report, Governor's Commission on Immigration,
State of Virginia, January, 2009, 26 pp + appendices.
Created in 2007 by the Virginia Assembly,
the 20-member Virginia Commission on Immigration was charged with examining the impact of immigration on the state educational
system, health care, law enforcement, service accessibility, and the economy. The Commission's final report contains 24 recommendations,
half of which are directed to the federal government and half to state government. Among the state government recommendations
are: shortening the Medicaid eligibility requirement for legal immigrants, charging in-state tuition for the children of undocumented
immigrants, establishing an "office of immigrant assistance services," and developing a comprehensive state plan
"to address the needs of the foreign-born population in a consistent/uniform manner."
to the Governor and Maryland General Assembly, January 1, 2009, 56 pp.
by the Governor of Maryland in 2008 and motivated by the belief that the preservation of immigrant languages will "maintain
America's competitive edge in such vital sectors as trade and national security," this task force presented a series
of nine "feasible and cost-effective" recommendations to preserve and develop the language skills of Maryland's
residents. Among the recommendations were: the awarding of high school credit by exam for students who attend non-public heritage
schools, the enhancement of library collections of children's literature in heritage languages, and the development of more
dual language programs in the public schools. This task force may be the first state-sponsosred task force on heritage languages
ever established in the United States.
State Laws Related to Immigrants and Immigration in 2008,
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Immigrant Policy Project, January, 2009, 32 pp.
conducts an annual inventory of state legislation addressing immigration issues. With 1305 pieces of legislation introduced
in 2008, of which 206 were enacted in 41 states, the 2008 inventory found a small reduction in the level of activity compared
to 2007. Although some states continue to be focused on punitive approaches, e.g. imposing sanctions on employers who hire
unauthorized workers and/or mandating that employers participate in the E-Verify program (Mississippi, Virginia), other states
are adopting integrative approaches, including a California law to use monetary fines imposed upon perpetrators of domestic
violence to fund domestic violence prevention programs in immigrant communities, a Connecticut law creating an Asian Pacific
American Affairs Commission to develop new programs promoting service access, a Maryland law creating a Task Force on the
Preservation of Heritage Language Skills, a Missouri law providing funding for naturalization assistance, and an Ohio act
creating an African immigrants Commission.
The Anti-Immigrant Movement that Failed:
Policies by State Government Still Far Outweigh Punitive Policies Aimed at New Immigrants,
Progressive States Network,
Sept., 2008, 24 pp. (Link no longer active)
a six category system to rank states from "punitive" to "integrative" in their policies towards immigrants,
this report finds that integrative state policies are much more common than media coverage would suggest. Seven states are
classified as "integrative," and ten, including New Jersey, as "somewhat integrative." The report features
a state-by-state policy assessment.
For the Benefit of All: Strategic Recommendations to Enhance the State's Role in the Integration
of Immigrants in Illinois,
Report of the New Americans Policy Council, Year Two, June, 2008, 34 pp.
On November 19,
2005, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the new Americans Executive Order, an attempt to adopt a coherent, strategic,
and proactive state government approach to integrate the rapidly growing immigrant population of Illinois. The Executive Order
created a New Americans Policy Council comprised of prominent Illinois business, faith, labor, community, philanthropic and
governmental leaders. This report, covering the issues of housing, police-community relations, and economic development/entrepreneurship,
is the second and final report of the Council.
Managing Diversity in Corporate America: An Exploratory Analysis,
The Rand Corporation, 2008, 26 pp.
This paper challenges the "cookbook" approach to diversity
management and argues that the benefits of diversity will be realized only when corporate leaders address the larger
issue of organizational change. The paper has implications for state and local officials seeking to create more inclusive
and effective governmental administrations. As an engine of diversity, immigration should be seen as part of the context in
which modern organizations, both public and private, operate.
Selected Testimony to the New Jersey Governor's Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Policy,
2008, 15 pp.
Formed by executive order in August, 2007, the panel is charged with developing recommendations
for a comprehensive and strategic statewide approach to successfully integrate New Jersey's rapidly growing immigrant population,
including consideration of such issues as: civil rights, citizenship status, education, employment/workforce training, fair
housing, healthcare, language proficiency and other key areas as identified by the Panel.
Pro-Immigrant Measures Available to State or Local Governments: A Quick Menu of Affirmative Ideas,
National Immigration Law Center, September, 2007, 6 pp.
This is a list of 71 policy recommendations
designed to "more effective incorporate immigrants into their communities." Many of them have been successfully
implemented in communities around the country.
For the Benefit of All: Strategic Recommendations to Enhance the State's Role in the Integration
of Immigrants in Illinois,
Report of the New Americans Policy Council, Year One, December, 2006, 28 pp.
On November 19, 2005, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the new Americans Executive Order, an attempt to
adopt a coherent, strategic, and proactive state government approach to integrate the rapidly growing immigrant population
of Illinois. The Executive Order created a New Americans Policy Council comprised of prominent Illinois business, faith, labor,
community, philanthropic and governmental leaders. This report, covering the issues of citizenship, education, human services
and health care, is the first report of the Council.
Immigrant Integration: Improving
Policy for Education, Health and Human Services for Illinois' Immigrants and Refugees,
New Americans Interagency Task
Force Report, December, 2006, 42 pp. (INACTIVE LINK)
This report summarizes recommendations developed by an
Interagency Task Force convened by the Office of New Americans Policy and Advocacy in the State of Illinois. The Task Force
developed seven recommendations to enable immigrants to access services, contribute to their communities and enhance their
lives and the lives of those around them.
Out of the Many, One: Integrating Immigrants in New Jersey,
National Immigration Forum, 2006, 64 pp.
Produced by Diversity Dynamics in collaboration with the New
Jersey Immigration Policy Network, this report constitutes a blueprint for a comprehensive immigrant integration agenda in
the State of New Jersey. It contains 51 recommendations and covers topics as wide-ranging as education, training and
employment, health care, language access, police-community relations, and immigrant civic participation.
Acclimation of Virginia's Foreign-Born Population,
Report of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission,
Commonwealth of Virginia, 2004, 104 pp + appendices
This is a comprehensive report
on Virginia's foreign-born population with special attention to best practices and opportunities for state and local initiatives
to promote immigrant integration. Commission staff found that the state's immigrants have three primary needs: access to English
learning opportunities, access to information and services in native languages, and access to affordable health care.
Latinos and the State of New Jersey: A promising Partnership for a Better Future,
Hispanic Advisory Council, 2003 Policy Report, Submitted to Governor James E. McGreevey, October 27, 2003, 31 pp.
Pursuant to a governor's executive order, a 14-member council was established to provide guidance to the administration
in serving New Jersey's burgeoning Latino population. Three sub-committees (economic development, education, and health) produced
a series of recommendation for consideration by the state.
We the People: Helping Newcomers Become Californians,
State of California, Little
Hoover Commission, June, 2002, 92 pp.
A bipartisan, independent
state body, the Little Hoover Commission called for a "coherent strategy for accelerating the integration of immigrants
into the economy and their communities." Recognizing the challenge presented by the state's 2 million undocumented
immigrants, the commission's report moves beyond the distinction between legal and illegal immigration, and in its place,
introduces the more practical distinction between responsible and irresponsible community members. The report then goes on
to outline the responsibilities of immigrants to the larger community, and the responsibilities of the larger community towards