By Laura D. Francis
Jan. 21 --The number of immigration laws and resolutions passed by the states
in 2013 was a large increase over the number passed in 2012, according to a report released Jan. 21 by the National Conference of
The 184 laws enacted and 253 resolutions--a total of
437--is a 64 percent increase over the 267 laws and resolutions passed by the
states in 2012 (31 HRR 97, 2/4/13). Examining laws only and not resolutions,
the report said the 184 laws passed in 2013 are an 18 percent increase over the
156 laws passed in 2012.
Delaware, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire and
Wyoming didn't pass any immigration legislation last year, the “2013
Immigration Report,” said.
At the same time, following the U.S. Supreme
Court's decision in Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 115 FEP
Cases 353 (2012) (30 HRR 709, 7/2/12), and the Obama administration's adoption
of the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, states largely shifted
their focus from immigration enforcement to providing immigrants with state
benefits, the report said.
only one state--Georgia--passed an omnibus immigration law in 2013, compared
with 30 states considering more than 50 bills, and passing five, in 2011, the
report said. Five states considered omnibus bills in 2012, but none passed.
Georgia's S. 160, passed in April 2013, among other things expanded the
definition of contractor to include subcontractors for purposes of determining
who is required to use the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility
On the other hand, the report said, 10
states--California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Maryland,
Nevada, Oregon and Vermont--passed laws in 2013 granting driver's licenses to
undocumented immigrants, while four states--Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and
Oregon--granted in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants.
addition, California passed a series of laws containing protections for
immigrants, including various immigration-related employment measures and
allowing undocumented immigrants to become licensed attorneys.
resolutions adopted by 31 states in 2013 covered a variety of topics, the
report said, but many called for federal immigration action in some form. For
example, 31 resolutions encouraged action by the president, Congress or federal
agencies, including resolutions in 11 states calling for a comprehensive
overhaul of the immigration system, the report said.
Employment-related immigration laws made up 11 percent
of all laws passed by states in 2013, the report said, with 12
states--California, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North
Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia--enacting 21
These laws addressed eligibility for unemployment insurance,
workers' compensation and mandatory E-Verify for public and private employees,
according to the report. Some limited employment to citizens or legal permanent
residents, while others addressed the state's role in EB-5 immigrant investor
visas, the report said.
For example, North Carolina's H. 786 clarified
which employers in the state must use E-Verify, and provided that no city,
county or state agency can enter into a contract unless the contractor and all
subcontractors comply with state immigration law.
Six percent of 2013
state laws addressed human trafficking, including penalties for withholding or
destroying immigration documents, establishing a task force and collecting
statistical data including geographical routes across international borders,
according to the report.
For instance, the report said Maine's H. 824
defined human trafficking to include the destruction, concealment, removal,
confiscation or possession of any actual or purported passport or other
immigration document in order to force the individual to perform certain
Other immigration laws
passed by the states in 2013 included:
budget laws enacted in 18 states--typically appropriating funds for refugee
services, migrant health, employment services, education and English as a
Second Language programs, law enforcement or naturalization services;
education laws enacted in 16 states--pertaining to citizenship, immigration and
residency requirements for educational institutions, students, employees or
contractors, with some addressing enhanced learning for refugees, children of
refugees or limited English proficient students;
health laws enacted in seven states--pertaining to medical assistance for
pregnant women, addressing citizenship requirements for Medicaid and State
Children's Health Insurance Program, improving language access and defining
eligibility criteria for licenses within the health profession;
driver's license/identification card laws enacted in 21 states (and one in the
District of Columbia awaiting congressional review)--addressing state
identification cards as well as firearm permits, hunting and recreational
permits and documentation requirements for driver's license applications;
enforcement laws enacted in 17 states--typically pertaining to the enforcement
of immigration laws, but also including regulations related to those working as
notary publics, immigration consultants and immigration lawyers;
miscellaneous laws enacted in 14 states--covering infrequently addressed
immigration issues, memberships on task forces and commissions, abandoned
property and studies;
public benefits laws enacted in 11 states and the District of
Columbia--ensuring that social service programs and benefits are granted only
to eligible immigrants; and
voting laws enacted by two states--clarifying voter registration requirements
and valid documents to prove U.S. citizenship.
contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible
for this story: Susan J. McGolrick at email@example.com
Text of the report is
available at http://op.bna.com/dlrcases.nsf/r?Open=lfrs-9fkn62.
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