Newark, NJ
Informing and Connecting Engaged Citizens
March 11, 2014
Report Examines State Legislation on Immigration from 2013

State immigration legislation in 2013 seemed to shift in response to two federal actions in 2012, changing from a focus on immigration law enforcement measures to some expanded state benefits for immigrants. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. United States struck down several provisions related to law enforcement, and new policy from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security offered young, unauthorized immigrants a temporary respite from deportation along with permission to work.

The number of state immigration-related laws rebounded in 2013 after a dropoff in 2012, with 184 laws enacted and 253 resolutions adopted, for a total of 437. This is a 64 percent increase from the 267 laws and resolutions enacted in 2012. Looking only at laws and not resolutions, enacted legislation increased 18 percent in 2013 compared to the same timeframe in 2012, with 184 laws compared to 156.

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