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Federal Gridlock on Immigration Reform Leads States to Action (New laws triple in ‘07)
National Conference of State Legislatures ^ | November 29, 2007 | Staff

Posted on 11/30/2007 1:43:05 PM PST by flattorney

NCSL NEWS

November 29, 2007

Federal Gridlock on Immigration Reform Leads States to Action: 

States enacted triple the numbers of laws in 2007 over 2006

DENVER - In the absence of federal immigration reform, state legislatures have passed an unprecedented amount of legislation related to immigrants in a range of policy arenas.

As of November 16, 2007, roughly 1562 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced among the 50 state legislatures. Of these bills, 244 became law in 46 states. 11 bills have been vetoed by governors. Two measures are still pending governors’ review.

State legislators have introduced roughly two and a half times more bills in 2007 than in 2006.  The number of enactments from 2006 (84) has more than tripled to 246 in 2007.  Several states are still in session so there could be additional legislation related to immigrants as the year draws to a close.

Immigration-related legislation covers almost every policy arena. Some of the main topics in state immigration-related legislation:

Main Topics Number of Bills Introduced States Enacted Laws States
Education 131 34 20 17
Employment** 244 45 31 20
Health 147 32 16 11
Human Trafficking 83 29 18 13
ID/Driver's Licenses/Other Licenses 259 47 42 31
Law Enforcement 165 37 17 10
Legal Services 20 12 3 3
Miscellaneous 116 34 14 11
Omnibus/Comprehensive Measures 29 8 1 1
Public Benefits** 153 40 32 19
Voting 53 23 0 0
Resolutions 162 37 50 18
TOTAL 1562 50 244 46

**Since the April 18th 2007 report, 34 pieces of legislation concerned with workers compensation and unemployment insurance have been moved from the public benefit section to the employment section.

NCSL’s Immigration Relations Task Force’s report gives a quantitative overview of introduced legislation and briefly analyzes enacted laws relating to immigrants and refugees. This process of legislative tracking and reporting is based on a comprehensive and inclusive methodology and captures all state legislation in which immigrants – whether authorized or unauthorized, migrants, aliens and refugees – are affected.  In 2007, states addressed both enforcement and integration issues related to immigrants.

For a free copy of the entire report, please contact NSCL's Media Manager Meagan Dorsch at 720-381-7611.

NCSL is the bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staff of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

###



TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; failedfederalgov; illegalimmigration; illegals; immigrantlist; immigrationreform; ncsl; openborders
See FlAttorney’s comprehensive FR "Straight Talk" page

As posted on FR and FlAttorney’s “Straight Talk” page, this month the State of Oklahoma implement the strictest Illegal Immigration Reform Law in the County. The law was overwhelming approved by both Legislature Republicans and Democrats and approved Oklahoma’s Democrat Governor. Other States are looking to adopt a similar tough law. In late October, two members of FlAttorney’s Miami based law firm attended the 2007 Florida Immigration Reform Legislative Summit. One of the speakers was the Director of Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now whose organization was instrumental in the passage of Oklahoma HB 1804: The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 which became law on November 1, 2007.

Posted for FlAttorney by TAB

1 posted on 11/30/2007 1:43:06 PM PST by flattorney
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To: flattorney

Round up ALL illegals and deport their asses.
Support them and I work against your sorry butt whatever office you hold no matter where.


2 posted on 11/30/2007 1:45:11 PM PST by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: Joe Boucher
Round up ALL illegals and deport their asses. Support them and I work against your sorry butt whatever office you hold no matter where.

How about first, civil forfeiture of all assets obtained while here illegally. and work of cost of incarceration and transport with hard labor.

3 posted on 11/30/2007 1:49:57 PM PST by MrEdd (Heck is the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aren't going.)
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To: flattorney

We don’t want federal legislation if it means legalizing the status of those already here. We have enough laws on the books now, mainly from the 1986 amnesty bill, but the federal govenment is not enforcing them.


4 posted on 11/30/2007 1:52:43 PM PST by kabar
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To: flattorney

I told them to do nothing of the kind!


5 posted on 11/30/2007 2:07:39 PM PST by gridlock (Recycling is the new Religion.)
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To: MrEdd

Great idea.
The politicians won’t buy it.


6 posted on 11/30/2007 2:24:10 PM PST by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: kabar
We don’t want federal legislation if it means legalizing the status of those already here.

Exactly. Whenever you see in the media words like "gridlock" or "stalemate" or "reform" what they really mean is a failure to pass an amnesty. The laws are already in place to do what the states are attempting and that is actually enforce them.

7 posted on 11/30/2007 2:43:08 PM PST by Reaganwuzthebest
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To: flattorney

“Federal Gridlock on Immigration Reform”

B.S.

Bush decided not to enforce the laws, then legalize everyone under Z-visas, then blame “gridlock” when he didn’t get his way.


8 posted on 11/30/2007 3:02:40 PM PST by Shermy ("A rising tide lifts all boats" ...but lowers those on the other side of the ocean.)
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To: Reaganwuzthebest

Exactly. If Congress passes CIR, it would cut the legs out from under the states and local authorities and actually force them to provide more services.


9 posted on 11/30/2007 3:05:16 PM PST by kabar
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To: flattorney

“To hell with our oath of office. we want to screw you!” Seems to be the pattern here.


10 posted on 11/30/2007 3:07:38 PM PST by Waco
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To: flattorney
In the absence of federal immigration reform ENFORCEMENT of
a large part of the provisions of the Amnesty act of 1986, as well as
REFUSAL to enforce many other laws ALREADY ON THE BOOKS,...


There.
That's a bit more like what's really happening.
11 posted on 11/30/2007 3:13:26 PM PST by VOA
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To: Joe Boucher

Why Mexican illegals are driving America "cuckoo"

Why doesn't Mexico take care of its own people? Why don't the ultra-wealthy Mexican elites help to pay for the health care and education etc of their own poor? Why do they instead encourage their poor to leave Mexico and invade the United States? Nature provides a parallel that is instructive.

Some species of birds thrive not by carefully rearing their own young, but by pawning that task off on adults of other species. The European Cuckoo, whose distinctive call is immortalized in the sound of the "cuckoo clock," is the bird in which this habit has been most thoroughly studied. Female European Cuckoos lay their eggs only in the nests of other species of birds. A cuckoo egg usually closely mimics the eggs of the host (one of whose eggs is often removed by the cuckoo).

The host may recognize the intruding egg and abandon the nest, or it may incubate and hatch the cuckoo egg. Shortly after hatching, the young European Cuckoo, using a scoop-like depression on its back, instinctively shoves over the edge of the nest any solid object that it contacts. With the disappearance of their eggs and rightful young, the foster parents are free to devote all of their care to the young cuckoo. Frequently this is an awesome task, since the cuckoo chick often grows much larger than the host adults long before it can care for itself. One of the tragicomic scenes in nature is a pair of small foster parents working like Sisyphus to keep up with the voracious appetite of an outsized young cuckoo.

12 posted on 11/30/2007 3:14:40 PM PST by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: Shermy; jan in Colorado
Bush decided not to enforce the laws, then legalize everyone under Z-visas, then blame “gridlock” when he didn’t get his way.

This points out exactly why the premise of this story/headline is flawed.

13 posted on 11/30/2007 3:47:23 PM PST by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: 1_Inch_Group; 2sheep; 2Trievers; 3AngelaD; 3pools; 3rdcanyon; 4Freedom; 4ourprogeny; 7.62 x 51mm; ..

ping


14 posted on 11/30/2007 4:09:48 PM PST by gubamyster
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To: Joe Boucher; bcsco; Gondring; Just A Nobody
Dittos to what Joe said!

"Round up ALL illegals and deport their asses.
Support them and I work against your sorry butt whatever office you hold no matter where."

15 posted on 11/30/2007 4:14:19 PM PST by jan in Colorado (“we need to move away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party” -- Duncan Hunter June 5,2007)
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To: flattorney
Glen Beck has his entire hour on the border wars!

Catch it on replay!

16 posted on 11/30/2007 4:19:48 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rudy,Romney,McCain, Huckabee send a self-abused stomped elephant to the DRNC.)
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To: jan in Colorado
I stand with Jan and Joe.

Let’s reminisce, shall we?

“The [immigration] bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.”
—Ted Kennedy, 1965

“This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens.
We will secure the borders henceforth.
We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this.”
—Ted Kennedy, 1986

“Now it is time for action. 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system.”
—Ted Kennedy, 2007

17 posted on 11/30/2007 4:30:32 PM PST by Just A Nobody (PISSANT for President '08 - NEVER AGAIN...Support our Troops! Beware the ENEMEDIA)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

www.progressivestates.org

http://www.progressivestates.org/blog/716/fighting-the-anti-immigrant-movement-in-the-states

Their new strategy against the United States

Strengthening-Communities BY Nathan Newman

Fighting the Anti-Immigrant Movement in the States
Purpose of this Strategy Memo: With the rise of anti-immigrant rhetoric and attacks, immigration will inevitably be a major issue in state legislatures in the 2008 session. The goal of this strategy document is to provide an outline of strategies and resources that state legislative leaders and advocates can use to challenge the anti-immigrant movements in their states.

Changing the Narrative on Immigration Politics: Even as anti-immigrant policies have been enacted in a number of states, other states have also been enacting smart, humane policies that raises living standards for all workers, undocumented and native worker alike, while encouraging maximum integration of new immigrants into our communities. State leaders and advocates can use smart policy campaigns to change the public debate on immigration both at the state level and nationally.

Launching the State Immigration Project: Working with allied labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizations, the Progressive States Network is launching the State Immigration Project, which will support state legislative leaders and advocates in challenging the rising anti-immigrant movement at the state level. The goal will be to defeat bad legislation and pass humane immigration legislation where possible, but also to create opportunities to highlight the positive contributions of immigrants to our states. These policy campaigns will emphasize those issues that evoke the many positive feelings the public has about immigrants, a counterbalance to the negative “wedge” messaging of the anti-immigrant right-wing. The campaign overall will have a five-part strategy:

Emphasize the political costs of anti-immigrant political positions and the long-term political gains from humane, inclusive immigration politics

Stress the facts that counter anti-immigrant lies

Promote policies that overcome anti-immigrant “wedge” politics and helps to unite progressive constituencies.

Emphasize the issues that divide even many conservative voters from anti-immigrant advocates

Generate national messaging on the positive steps being taken by states on the immigration issue

Making Immigration a Winning Issue- The Political Case Against Anti-Immigrant Politics: The reality is that globalization is driving economic changes, including immigration, that cause fear and uncertainty for many voters. If progressives promote economic policies that address the broader economic needs of working families, all polling shows that there is no majority for punitive measures against undocumented immigrants. And given the rapid expansion of legal immigrants voting in US elections, including the doubling of the Latino electorate from 7.5 million voters in 2000 to an estimated 14 million voters in 2008, there is no political leadership future for politicians who promote punitive policies against new immigrants and alienate this growing bloc of voters.

Smart State Policy to Deflect Anti-Immigrant Attacks: Progressive leaders need to promote policies that will highlight that those leading the anti-immigrant charge are actually against the interests of working families of all races and immigrant status. Key progressive immigration strategies include:

Wage Enforcement as Immigration Policy: Much of the anger at immigrants derives from fears that sweatshops and sub-minimum wage labor will undermine wage standards. Punishing employers who violate wage laws will politically unite all workers, immigrant and native alike, and actually strengthen the progressive political base. If wage enforcement bills end up being attached to anti-immigrant bills, many in the business lobby will break their current alliances with anti-immigrant politicians.

Encouraging Immigrant Integration and Naturalization: Progressives need to emphasize that all available evidence shows that most are eager to become full members of our communities if given a chance. highlight policies that help all immigrants better integrate, which will unite the interests of legal and undocumented immigrants along with the members of their communities who are already voting citizens.

Immigrants and Public Benefits: While state leaders and advocates need to highlight the studies that show that undocumented immigrants actually pay more in taxes than they use in public benefits, they also need to demand studies of the lost benefits to citizens and the costs to taxpayers from onerous anti-immigrant enforcement rules. Progressive leaders should also demand that the federal government, which receives billions in taxes paid by undocumented workers, share those revenues with states to expand services for communities with heavy immigrant populations.

Voting Reform versus “Voter ID” Attacks: Despite the complete lack of evidence that non-citizens have illegally voted in US elections, progressives need to challenge the voter ID requirements that are disenfranchising many legal voters. While voter ID laws need to be defeated, the other part of progressive mobilization should be demanding that voting be made easier, through reforms like same day registration and voting by mail, for people who do overcome these new barriers to proving their legal right to vote.

Immigrant Outreach as Public Safety and Anti-Terror Policy: Most law enforcement groups recognize that it is harder to protect victims of crime when millions of people living in our communities are fearful of talking to the police when they see a crime or are a victim of one. Progressive leaders can highlight this reality by promoting policies that protect undocumented immigrant victims and witnesses of crime when they contact the police and encourage community policing efforts involving undocumented immigrant communities.

Strengthening Progressive Alliances and Finding New Conservative Allies on the Immigration Issue: Beyond individual policy options, advocates and elected leaders need to emphasize that the coalition in support of humane policies involving new immigrants is diverse and cuts into even many seemingly conservative communities. Elected leaders can build on traditional support from many African-American leaders to labor unions to forge alliances with forward-looking business leaders and religious leaders, including many evangelicals, who recognize that smart, humane immigration policies for our communities is a source of both moral and social strength.

Conclusion- Moral Immigration Politics is Smart Politics: As this strategy memo outlines, moral immigration politics are also smart politics in the long-term, since the present coalition for humane immigration policy is rapidly being joined by new citizens who are unlikely to forgive politicians who vote wrong in the coming legislative session. Ultimately, there is no political future for the politicians leading the drive to enact anti-immigrant laws, while those elected leaders who step up with intelligent, humane policies will be the long-term political winners of the current debate.


18 posted on 11/30/2007 4:34:35 PM PST by chicagolady (Mexican Elite say: EXPORT Poverty Let the American Taxpayer foot the bill !)
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To: Just A Nobody
Speaking of Mr. Kennedy...
“we need to move away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party”
-- Duncan Hunter June 5,2007
19 posted on 11/30/2007 4:36:54 PM PST by jan in Colorado (“we need to move away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party” -- Duncan Hunter June 5,2007)
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To: chicagolady

The inscription on the Statue of Liberty reads...

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Immigrants come through the Golden Door and want to be
Americans.

Those who invade by bypassing the golden door do not
want to be Americans!


20 posted on 11/30/2007 4:40:11 PM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rudy,Romney,McCain, Huckabee send a self-abused stomped elephant to the DRNC.)
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To: flattorney

The Pro-illegal alien lobby 2008 strategy

http://progressivestates.org/files/immigrationstrategy.html#_Toc182630689

Appendix A: State Immigration Policy Resources and Links
Broad Immigration Policy Resources

NILC, State and Local Policies on Immigrant Access to Services (May 2007)

Drum Major Institute, Principles for an Immigration Policy to Strengthen and Expand the American Middle Class (2007)
National Employment Law Project, More Harm Than Good: Responding To States’ Misguided Efforts To Regulate Immigration (2007)

Fair Immigration Reform Movement, Immigration Reform and Immigrants at the State Level

National Council of La Raza, State and Local Immigration Initiatives

NCSL, Overview of State Legislation Related to Immigration and Immigrants in 2007 (April 2007)

American Immigation Lawyers Association, Making the Case for Fair and Reasonable Immigration Policy- talking points and surveys and polls mostly focused on federal immigration policy

AFL-CIO, Executive Council Statement on Immigration Policy (2006)

ACLU Immigrant Rights Project

National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)

Voting and Naturalization Trends in Immigrant Communities
Dept. of Homeland Security, Estimates of the Legal Permanent Resident Population and Population Eligible to Naturalize in 2004

Pew Hispanic Center, Hispanics and the 2004 Election
National Council of La Raza, Leap to Action Voter Mobilization Project

Southwest Voter Registration Education Project
League of United Latin American Citizens, Voter Registration

National Immigration Forum, New Wave of Voters Coming: Citizenship Applications Up 61%

Background on the Anti-Immigrant Rightwing

Southern Poverty Law Center, Anti-Immigration Groups and its weekly newsletter tracking the anti-immigrant movement Nativist News

Southern Poverty Law Center, The Puppeteer: The organized anti-immigration ‘movement,’ increasingly in bed with racist hate groups, is dominated by one man, John Tanton
Public Research Associates, Anti-Immigrant Organizations and their other Immigrant Rights resources tracking anti-immigrant movements

In These Times, “Keeping America Empty: How one small-town conservationist launched today’s anti-immigration movement”
People for the American Way, Right Wing Watch: Immigration
Data Resources: Demographics and Economics
Migration Policy Institute, 2005 American Community Survey and Census Data on the Foreign Born by State
Pew Hispanic Center, Size and Characteristics of the Unauthorized Migrant Population in the U.S. (2006)
Center for an Urban Future, A World of Opportunity: Immigrant entrepreneurs have emerged as key engines ofgrowth for cities from New York to Los Angeles
Urban Institute, Trends in the Low-Wage Immigrant Workforce
Wage Enforcement as Immigration Policy

Enforcing Wage Laws
Progressive States, Eye on Immigration

Progressive States, Cracking Down on Wage Violations
List of Organizations involved in wage law enforcement
National Employment Law Project, Workplace Rights for Immigrant Workers

LA Times, How L.A. Kept Out a Million Migrants

National Employment Law Project, Enforcement of Wage and Hour Standards for Low-Wage Workers (2006)

Brennan Center, Enforcement of Workplace Rights

Brennan Center, Unregulated Work in the Global City (2007)
Brennan Center, Survey of Literature Estimating the Prevalence of Employment and Labor Law Violations in the US (2005)

National Employment Law Project, Combating Independent Contractor Misclassification in the States
Workplace Fairness, Contractors

California SB 1818 — Law declaring that all legal remedies are available to workers regardless of immigration status
New York Balbuena v. IDR Realty - New York Court of Appeals decision affirming immigrant workers’ legal rights

Anti-Sweatshop Procurement Policies

Global Exchange — Sweatfree Campaigns
AFL-CIO Stop Sweatshops

Problems with E-Verify Immigrant Screening

Illinois HB 1744, Workplace Privacy-Verify

Electronic Privacy Information Clearinghouse - E-Verify System: DHS Changes Name, But Problems Remain for U.S. Workers

National Immigration Law Center - Court Halts Government from Implementing Flawed Social Security No-Match Rule
Effects of Workplace Raids

Urban Institute- Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America’s Children

Encouraging Immigrant Integration and Naturalization
Progressive States, IL: Policies to Bring Immigrants into Economic Mainstream
New Americans Policy Council, For the Benefit of All: Strategic Recommendations to Enhance the State’s Role in the Integration of Immigrants in Illinois

NCSL, State and Local Immigrant Offices
Migration Policy Institute, Leaving Too Much to Chance: A Roundtable on Immigrant Integration Policy
Urban Institute, Immigration Studies: The Integration of Immigrant Families in the United States

Illinois Coalitions for Immigrants and Refugee Rights, The New Americans Initiative

CLASP, The Challenges of Change: Learning from the Child Care and Early Education Experiences of Immigrant Families (2007)
Grant-makers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees,

Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration (2006)
FIRM, In-State Tuition Campaigns

Immigrants and Public Benefits

Research on Taxes Paid and Benefits Used by Immigrant Communities

National Immigration Law Center - Immigrants and the US Health Care System

Urban Institute, Civic Contributions: Taxes Paid by Immigrants in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area (May 2006)

California Immigrant Policy Center, Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State (2005)

Texas Office of the Controller, Undocumented Immigrants in Texas: A Financial Analysis of the Impact to the State Budget and Economy (Dec. 2006)

Economic Policy Institute, Immigration not driving the erosion of health insurance (2007)

Iowa Policy Project, Undocumented Immigrants in Iowa: Estimated Tax Contributions and Fiscal Impact (2007)
Research on Effects of Benefit ID Rules
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - New Medicaid Citizenship Documentation Requirement is Taking a Toll: States Report Enrollment is Down and Administrative Costs Are Up

Government Accountability Office (GAO), Medicaid: States Reported that Citizenship Documentation Requirement Resulted in Enrollment Declines for Eligible Citizens and Posed Administrative Burdens (June 2007)

Denver Post, Colo. Immigration Law Falls Short of Goal: State Agencies $2 million cost and no savings
Voting Reform versus “Voter ID” Attacks

Research on Lack of Voter Fraud by Immigrants

Progressive States, “Fighting Vote Suppression by the Rightwing”
New York Times: “In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud”

Brennan Center, The Truth About Fraud

Project Vote, The Politics of Voter Fraud

Century Foundation, Where’s the Voter Fraud?
Eagleton Institute, Testimony presented to the U. S. Election Assistance Commission (February 8, 2007).

Immigrant Outreach as Public Safety and Anti-Terror Policy
Community Policing and Immigrant Communities
Major Cities Chiefs Statement on Immigration- Police chiefs statement on need for separation of local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement

Appleseed, Forcing Our Blues into Gray Areas: Local Police and Federal Immigration Enforcement

Vera Institute of Justice, Strengthening Relations between Police and Immigrants and Building Strong Police-Immigrant Community Relations: Lessons from a New York City Project
CAUSA, Collaboration with federal immigration enforcement hurts community policing

National Immigration Forum, Success Story: Santa Ana Uses Community Policing Methods to Reduce Crime in Heavily Immigrant Area

USA Today, Chiefs, mayors order local cops: Leave catching illegal immigrants to the feds

Institute for Policy Research, Community Policing and ‘the New Immigrants:’ Latinos in Chicago prepared for the National Institute of Justice, U.S. Department of Justice (2002)

National Immigration Forum, Police in “New Immigrant” States Say Asking Them to Enforce Immigration Laws Would Harm Public Safety

Domestic Violence in Immigrant Communities

Electronic Privacy Information Center, REAL ID and Domestic Violence
Letter to Congress from the National Network to End Violence Against Immigrant Women.. Describing the impact that REAL ID will have on battered women

National Immigration Project, Noncitizen Survivors of Domestic Violence, including Local Police Enforcement of Immigration Laws and Its Effects on Victims of Domestic Violence

Violence Against Women network, Somewhere to Turn: Making Domestic Violence Services Accessible to Battered Immigrant Women - A ‘How To’ Manual For Battered Women’s Advocates and Service Providers

Licenses and Identification

City of New Haven, NEW HAVEN’S ELM CITY RESIDENT CARDS – Fact Sheet

New York Coalition for Immigrants’ Right to Driver’s Licenses - Equal Access for All Communities
National Immigration Law Center, Immigrants & Driver’s Licenses: Resources for Advocates

National Immigration Law Center - The Tennessee “Driving Certificate” Not a Model Policy
National Immigration Law Center - Driver’s Licenses for All Immigrants: Quotes from Law Enforcement
New York Immigration Coalition - New Driver’s License Policy is a Win for All New Yorkers
SB1162- California bill proposed to grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants.


Appendix B: Pro-Immigrant Measures Available to State or Local Governments
from the NATIONAL IMMIGRATION LAW CENTER

A QUICK MENU OF AFFIRMATIVE IDEAS
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT

Jonathan Blazer, public benefits policy attorney | blazer@nilc-dc.org

September 2007

Congress’s failure to enact a comprehensive reform of the federal immigration system has increased the pressure on state and local governments to address the issue of immigration in areas within their control. Some governments have undertaken purely restrictive and punitive measures aimed at making their communities less hospitable to immigrants — as if this approach were an effective, let alone desirable, solution to an immigration system that cries out for reform. On the other hand, an increasing number of state and local governments are also exploring ways to more effectively incorporate immigrants into their communities, investing in immigrants instead of marginalizing them.

This reality-based approach recognizes immigrants as a key ingredient of shared prosperity and seeks to maximize the economic, social, and cultural benefits of such immigration on towns, cities, counties, and states.

What follows is a quick menu of affirmative, pro-immigrant measures that state and local governments can consider. Among these ideas:

· Most have already been successfully implemented in one or more places across the country.

· Some are boldly pro-immigrant with concrete and immediate impact; others are moderate, incremental steps with primarily symbolic value.

· Most benefit not only immigrants but also native-born persons, and therefore hold potential appeal to broad-based political constituencies.

· Some require legislative action; others are measures that can be initiated by executive bodies.

· While a small number of the measures need to be crafted with some care so as not to infringe on federal authority to regulate immigration (or other federal laws), the vast majority address areas in which state and local governments have full power to act.

This is a rapidly evolving area. Please offer your feedback — e.g., measures to add or subtract from this menu, new examples of places in which the measures have been adopted, and the impact these measures have had where they have been implemented.

Enforcement and enhancement of labor and employment law protection
þ Prohibit local “employer sanctions.” Bar localities from superseding federal law by enacting their own set of penalties (e.g., monetary fines, criminal prosecution, or revocation of business licenses or government contracts) against companies that employ undocumented immigrants.

þ Ensure that enforcement of state labor, employment, civil rights, and housing statutes is conducted regardless of immigration status.

þ Prohibit employers from taking adverse actions against workers based on their participation in the Basic Pilot employment eligibility verification program (recently renamed “E-Verify) or receipt of “no-match” letters from the Social Security Administration.

þ Increase state and local enforcement of health/safety and wage/hour laws, and increase fines for violations.

þ Increase or establish state and/or local minimum wage and local living wage (in states where localities have legal authority to do so), raising the floor for all workers.

þ Prohibit state labor agencies from sharing immigration status information obtained in the course of a labor complaint or labor investigation with federal immigration authorities; and prohibit employers from turning over personnel information to federal immigration authorities without a warrant.

þ Make it an unlawful employment practice under state law to discriminate against an employment-authorized worker based on national origin or citizenship/immigration status.

þ Make it an unlawful employment practice under state law for employers to request more or different documents than are required under federal law for the purpose of establishing employment eligibility.

þ Require employers to provide employees access to their personnel files.

þ Ban harassment of day laborers and day labor sites, including overly intrusive videotaping and photographing.

Promoting public safety and protecting confidentiality
þ Implement policies to protect victims of and witnesses to crime by limiting police inquiry into immigration status.

þ Implement policies to prevent and combat racial profiling by law enforcement.

þ Establish a system of reports, audits, and complaint procedures to address improper police inquiry about immigration information.

þ Combat identify fraud though state and local “Privacy Acts” limiting the circumstances under which a person is required to provide his or her Social Security number (SSN).

þ Implement a policy prohibiting local law enforcement agencies from participating in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids.

þ Promote community policing practices that engage all community members fighting crime by combating fears and addressing concerns of all communities.

þ Pass a bill or resolution rejecting the federal REAL ID Act and state adoption of REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards.

þ Enact a law removing immigration-related barriers to driver’s licenses (promoting safe driving, vehicle registration, ability to purchase insurance).

þ Conduct anticrime education and outreach programs educating immigrants on how to avoid becoming victims of crime (e.g., opening bank accounts rather than carrying cash), how to report crimes when they have been victimized; how to avoid unknowingly violating city ordinances (e.g., cars on front lawns, overcrowded housing), and how to steer children away from gangs.

Promoting access to health, housing, legal, and social services
þ Pursue policies and resolutions that limit questioning and recording of immigration status and SSN requirements by village/city/state agencies except where required by federal law.

þ Establish state and local programs that provide assistance to lawfully present immigrants who are ineligible for federally funded services (health coverage, food stamps, and/or subsistence income) due to arbitrary restrictions such as the five-year waiting period.

þ Expand county and state public health insurance programs (especially those serving children, pregnant women, and families) so that coverage is available regardless of their status.

þ Conduct outreach (preferably face-to-face) to immigrant communities and those with limited English proficiency to inform families about benefits and services offered by local, state, and federal programs, especially to ensure participation in public health insurance programs of families already eligible but not enrolled.

þ Require that training and continuing education for students and clinicians in health professions includes cultural and linguistic competency.

þ Implement payments from Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funds for interpreter services for Medicaid and SCHIP enrollees in clinical health settings (many states already use such funds to help pay for interpreting and translating expenses incurred by agencies administering these programs).

þ Increase funding for community heath centers providing primary care to all persons in need.

þ Enact policies that increase the proportion of workers who have access to affordable health coverage — e.g., by establishing a minimum expenditure requirement under which employers must spend at least a set minimum amount to cover their employees’ health care costs.

þ Provide funding for legal services, including immigration assistance, to immigrants ineligible for assistance from programs funded by the Legal Services Corporation.

þ Pass legislation or adopt rulings adding immigration and citizenship status to the grounds of prohibited discrimination under fair housing laws and/or prohibiting cities, counties, and landlords from making inquiries into immigration status.

Promoting English language instruction and access for English language learners
þ Increase funding for affordable and accessible adult English language instruction.

þ Offer tax credits for employers offering job-based English language instruction to workers.

þ Enact laws and guidance requiring public agencies to provide language services (interpretation and translation) to persons with limited English proficiency and establishing a private right of action for individuals to enforce these rules when such services are denied. (More focused measures could address access in key areas such as public safety, hospitals/health settings, courts.)

þ Pool language service resources into “interpreter banks” to facilitate and make more efficient procurement of interpreters and translation by publicly funded agencies.

þ Fund vocational English instruction programs, including collaborations between community colleges, community-based organizations, and employers

þ Increase funding for training of interpreters and translators (states can use Medicaid funds as one source).

þ Implement professional competency standards for interpreters and translators in health and legal settings.

Promoting community membership and civic participation
þ Establish municipal identification documents, provide them to local residents regardless of status, and promote their universal use.

þ Fund organizations that assist immigrants to successfully complete the process of obtaining ml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />U.S. citizenship through naturalization (e.g., application assistance, English and civics classes for lawful permanent residents).

þ Enact a state refundable tax credit for naturalization expenses.

þ Promote voter registration of naturalized citizens and broader civic participation by immigrant communities.

Investing in students by facilitating access to the educational system
þ Ban immigration status inquiries by public schools.

þ Provide in-state college tuition to all graduates of high schools in the state, or at least those graduates who attended high school in the state for at least three years. (Similar policies can also be enacted for certain city and county community college systems offering preferential rate to residents.)

þ Ensure access to state or locally funded financial aid/scholarships, regardless of immigration status, to those who attended high school and graduated in the state; and create alternative funding vehicles for students excluded from federal financial aid (especially merit-based aid).

Promoting entrepreneurialism, wealth-building, and utilization of mainstream financial services
þ Encourage community outreach and education regarding financial services, e.g., by working with banks, worker centers, and other community institutions to create pamphlets and other materials accessible to immigrants and addressing immigrant questions and concerns regarding issues such as banking, borrowing, and home ownership.

þ Encourage banks to implement flexible identification and documentation requirements, to the maximum degree permitted by federal law, to ensure that all people residing in the community can safeguard their money in a bank and benefit from having a checking account and other banking services.

þ Pass regulatory law or facilitate creation of alternative financial mechanisms that lower the cost of remittances.

þ Enact a state earned income tax credit program available to all low-income workers who file taxes.

þ Promote cooperative ventures such as limited liability corporations, enabling persons without employment authorization to work without violating the law.

þ Increase funding for new day labor and worker centers and additional services at existing sites.

þ Support street vendors by opening more public space to vending, raising licensing caps, combating harassment of street vendors by enforcement agents, and creating language accessible information about what street vendors must do to comply with various laws and regulations.

þ Encourage compliance with laws regulating businesses by educating immigrant communities about zoning, licensing, and small business rules.

Improving government communication and coordination over programs promoting immigrant integration
þ Establish a government office promoting immigrant integration and coordination among agencies, e.g., an office or commission on immigrant affairs.

þ Create an advisory council aimed at informing government of new approaches needed to promote immigrant integration and offering feedback on policy options under consideration.

þ Conduct a survey of immigrant community needs that could be better addressed by state and local governments, e.g., language assistance, legal services, law enforcement special needs, antidiscrimination enforcement, and educational needs.

Protecting immigrants from exploitation
þ Increase state and local protection for victims of trafficking and other serious crimes.

þ Ensure access to state and local public benefits for immigrant victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and other serious crimes.

þ Establish an interagency taskforce to address and combat trafficking and worker exploitation.

þ Strengthen protections against abuses committed by “notarios” and others who harm community members by engaging in fraudulent and unauthorized practice of law.

Building greater appreciation for the contributions of immigrants and causes of immigration
þ Conduct or commission studies on economic contributions of immigrants (e.g., workforce participation, business or jobs generated, buying power, revitalization of neighborhoods, full range of income, payroll, sales, and property taxes paid).

þ Conduct or commission studies on the effectiveness of community policing and broad participation in crime-fighting efforts.

þ Create, fund, or otherwise promote billboards, public service announcements, and flyers embracing immigration and promoting a welcoming tradition.

þ Establish a sister city program with an immigrant-sending community.

Signaling support for immigrants and humane immigration reform through resolutions
þ Urge Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a broad-based legalization program.

þ Urge Congress to pass the DREAM Act, providing conditional status and a pathway to permanent residency to long-term undocumented students who graduate from U.S. high schools.

þ Support a moratorium on raids and/or oppose enforcement-only approaches to addressing immigration.

þ Acknowledge the economic, social, and intellectual contributions of immigrants.

þ Condemn vigilante or hate activity targeting immigrants.

——————————


21 posted on 11/30/2007 4:42:02 PM PST by chicagolady (Mexican Elite say: EXPORT Poverty Let the American Taxpayer foot the bill !)
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To: chicagolady

WOW. Thanks for posting!


22 posted on 11/30/2007 5:35:10 PM PST by jan in Colorado (“we need to move away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party” -- Duncan Hunter June 5,2007)
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To: chicagolady; flattorney

Thank you. Would you expect anything less? Progressive States Network is a major George Soros Shadow Party organization that has been heavily funded by Soros himself. - TAB


23 posted on 11/30/2007 6:23:04 PM PST by flattorney (~ See My FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page ~)
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To: jan in Colorado

Don’t mention it! Now we know were we have to get to work!!


24 posted on 11/30/2007 9:15:29 PM PST by chicagolady (Mexican Elite say: EXPORT Poverty Let the American Taxpayer foot the bill !)
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To: chicagolady

Yes indeed!


25 posted on 11/30/2007 9:22:08 PM PST by jan in Colorado (“we need to move away from the Kennedy Wing of the Republican Party” -- Duncan Hunter June 5,2007)
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To: jan in Colorado

I HOPE THAT ALL ON THIS WEBSITE REVISIT THE RULING ISSUED BY THE JUDGE IN THE PRINCE WILLIAM TEST CASE. OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAVE TRIED TO COMFORM TO THE LAWS REGARDING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND WON AN IMPORTANT COURT CASE TODAY. OUR COMMUITY WAS INVADED BY THE ILLEGALS FIVE YEARS AGO AND NOW THEY ARE LEAVING IN MASSISVE NUMBERS BUT LEAVING A GROWING AMOUNT OF FORECLOSURES BEHIND. I HOPE THAT SOMEONE WILL TRACK THE SUBPRIME LOANS CRISIS AS MOST OF THOSE LOANS WERE TO ILLEGALS A T LEAST IN AREA.


26 posted on 11/30/2007 11:57:24 PM PST by Standing TAll
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To: Standing TAll

Thanks for posting and verifing what we we thinking. BUT you missed something! A lot of those loans were made by Mexicans preying on Mexicans. Not white Americans preying on Mexicans. What is being exposed here is a diversion created by the Hispanics who want money at any cost and the corruption and culture they are bringing with them. They would sell swamp land in Florida to their own grandmother.

I lived in Mexico for a year as a missionary. I was ripped off the worst by the Bible students. It is so cultural to rip people off they do not see that it is wrong. It’s culture.


27 posted on 12/01/2007 4:16:03 AM PST by chicagolady (Mexican Elite say: EXPORT Poverty Let the American Taxpayer foot the bill !)
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To: Just A Nobody

Thank you Massachusetts for inflicting this assclown on the rest of the nation for 40+ years.


28 posted on 12/01/2007 7:33:51 PM PST by GATOR NAVY
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