State legislatures continue tackling immigration issues in a variety of policy arenas at an unprecedented rate, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). In the first quarter of 2009, state legislators in all 50 states introduced 1,040 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees. This is comparable to the record numbers of bills and resolutions introduced during the first quarter of 2008. State laws related to immigration have increased dramatically in recent years:
- In 2005, 300 bills were introduced and 38 laws were enacted.
- In 2006, activity doubled: 570 bills were introduced and 84 laws were enacted.
- In 2007, activity tripled: 1,562 bills were introduced and 240 laws were enacted.
- In 2008, activity remained consistent: 1,305 bills were introduced and 206 laws were enacted.
As in past years, the top three areas of interest remain employment, identification/drivers licenses and law enforcement. States also are considering new policy approaches in the education, health and benefits sectors.
To learn more about 2009 legislation at the state level, visit the NCSL website and read the full report.
AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 09061035 (posted Jun. 10, 2009)