State and Local Initiatives
With the failure of the federal government to pass comprehensive immigration reform, states and localities have played a more prominent role in immigration regulation. For many years, states have restricted immigrants’ access to health care, licenses, and public benefits. State and local laws have included language that would cut benefits to immigrants, penalize persons who employ or provide assistance and services to undocumented immigrants, and require local police to enforce federal immigration laws. As states and localities adopt these measures, the U.S. becomes a country with a patchwork of laws and regulations that are often unconstitutional, costly, and misguided. These measures create mistrust, fear, discrimination, and intolerance in communities and the implications for Latinos are vast.
Through its Affiliate Network and partners, NCLR works with advocates to educate the community about state and local immigration-related initiatives and bring about the best possible policy outcome. By working with grassroots organizations at the state and local levels, NCLR seeks to defeat anti-immigrant initiatives and propel policies that best integrate immigrants into U.S. society.
In recent months, especially with the passage of Arizona’s SB 1070, immigration has entered into the debate at the state and local levels. Although a number of state politicians have announced their intention to pass Arizona-like punitive measures, these initiatives have not been successful in many of the states where they have been proposed.
*Portions of HB 56 have been blocked by the courts. However, the "papers please" provision that allows local law enforcement to detain people whom they suspect could be undocumented was not blocked. As of 1/09/12
November 01 , 2010