Immigration News Blog
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
2012 Immigration-Related Laws and Resolutions in the States (Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2012
National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
2012 Immigration-Related Laws and Resolutions in the States (Jan. 1–Dec. 31, 2012) [30 January 2013]
number of immigration-related bills introduced and passed at the state
level in 2012 dipped in comparison with the last five years, yet remains
high overall. There are several explanations for the dip, including the
May 2012 Supreme Court Arizona v. United States ruling in which only
the lawful stop provision was upheld, and the fact that four state
legislatures did not meet in 2012, including Montana, North Dakota,
Nevada and Texas.
seemed to put the brakes on immigration bills early in 2012, pending
budget and redistricting debates, and most important, the review of
Arizona’s immigration law by the U.S. Supreme Court,” said Ann Morse,
director of the NCSL Immigrant Policy Project. “By the end of 2012,
however, the number of laws was down by only 13 percent, meaning that
states continue to engage on immigration issues in budgets, law
enforcement, employment, licensing and benefits.”
2012, state legislators in 46 states, the District of Columbia and
Puerto Rico introduced 983 bills and resolutions related to immigration.
This marks a decline of 39 percent compared with 2011, during which
1,606 bills were introduced. The decrease in the number of enacted bills
and resolutions was less pronounced: 267 in 2012 compared with 306 in
2011, a decline of just 13 percent.
the bills and resolutions enacted, nearly a quarter were budget
related, appropriating funds for federal programs such as English
language acquisition, naturalization and refugee resettlement.
enforcement legislation accounted for 17 percent of the total. Four
states—Kansas, Louisiana, Maine and Utah—enacted laws that specify
permissible documents for registering and maintaining records on sex
offenders, including travel and immigration documents.
identification/driver’s license and public benefits comprised 9 percent
of all 2012 immigration laws. Massachusetts, for example, prohibited
the registration of a motor vehicle or trailer unless the person holds a
license, specified identification card, Social Security number or proof
of legal presence.
and health care each accounted for eight percent of the total. In New
Hampshire, legislation was enacted requiring every student receiving
in-state tuition to sign an affidavit of legal residence beginning in
2013. Nebraska restored prenatal care and pregnancy-related services for
immigrant mothers through the State Children’s Health Insurance
trafficking laws made up 6 percent of the total. A law passed in South
Carolina makes it a crime to destroy, withhold or confiscate any type of
identification document including a driver’s license, passport or
immigration document in the attempt to detain a victim.
the 111 immigration-related resolutions passed in 2012, 12 urged the
U.S. Congress and president to take action on immigration, trade,
tourism and border security.
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