For several years, state legislators have adopted a variety of approaches to fill gaps in federal responsibility for immigration policy and delays in immigration reforms.
According to a new immigration report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), the 50 states and Puerto Rico have introduced a record 1,538 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees in the first quarter of 2011. This number surpasses the first quarter of 2010 by 358 bills.
In this edition of The Buzz at State Legislatures, we talk with several state legislators regarding immigration legislation. In April, 2010, Arizona made national news with its enactment of SB1070, which added new state penalties related to immigration enforcement.
Representative John Kavanagh of Arizona explained to The Buzz that the state was frustrated with federal inaction and the increasing crime, drug smuggling and human smuggling. Download ImmigrationCavanaugh *
Utah is trying a compromise on immigration that could end up being a model for other policymakers, or yet another law tangled up in court. Utah Senator Curtis Bramble spoke with The Buzz at State Legislatures magazine and told us why Utah is taking an approach that addresses both enforcement and the need for workers. Download ImmigrationBramble *