Featured News 2012 States are Passing Less Immigration Laws

States are Passing Less Immigration Laws

After an onslaught of strict statutes from Alabama and Arizona, a study shows that the states may be finally backing off on their intent to prosecute immigrants. The Boston Register reports that state legislatures have passed 20 percent fewer immigration laws within the first half of 2012 then they had at the same time last year. The National Conference of State Legislatures has looked at 41 different states that have enacted a grand total of 114 bills and 92 resolutions in regards to immigration. These bills and statutes were all passed between January 1st and June 30th. At the same time last year, the United States had officially enacted 257 laws.

John Watkins, a Republican state senator in Virginia, says that the states have been delaying their immigration legislation because they have been waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the states authority to enforce immigration laws. The national government has been looking into the state’s individual authority to pass these strict laws because of the adverse effects that come with Alabama and Arizona’s tough statutes. In June 2011, the Supreme Court upheld a provision which said that the police have the right to check the immigration statutes of a state resident if they stop them for another reason. But justice’s struck down the provision when the police started pulling over suspicious individuals saying that they were being questioned because of suspicion. The act was seen as racial profiling and frowned upon.

The Supreme Court eventually gave a “yellow light,” which slowed immigration while still supporting a lot of minor immigration laws. The States’ legislatures have also been focusing on budget gaps as America recovers from the recession, which is in part why immigration may have been put on the backburner. One Washington state representative says that Congress or the next President needs to focus on immigration and the national budget in order to try and reduce debt. This representative is hoping that the next administration will be able to eliminate illegal immigration in an effort to lower costs in the United States.

In general, of all the laws enacted on immigration about 18 percent focus on law enforcement. Another 11 percent are about identification and divers’ licenses. Six states have enacted laws that are associated with the E-Verify program. This program requires that all businesses check the legal status of their employees before hiring them. It essentially guarantees that illegal immigrants won’t be hired for any professional job, therefore discouraging them from making a home in these states. The E-verify program is running in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, West Virginia, Michigan, and New Hampshire. In Alabama, there was a crop shortage when many of the illegal immigrants who work in harvesting fled their state in fear of being discovered in their illegal status.

While the E-verify program is certainly effective in detecting illegal immigrants, many don’t believe that the program is fair. If you have been detected through E-verify as an illegal worker, the police can arrest you and send you to trial with potential deportation. This same sort of danger is prevalent for men and women who are detected by police in states like Arizona. Here, if a person is arrested and cannot produce legal documentation then that is grounds for arrest. With pro-immigration laws like Obama’s recent act in action, the immigrations statutes that apply to your specific case can be confusing and seemingly contradicting. If you need help with your immigration case, you will want a legal representative who specializes in this area of law. Look for someone using this directory today to work through your immigration case the effective way!

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