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AIC's Michele Waslin Testifies before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

On August 17, 2012, Michele Waslin of the American Immigration Council testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The hearing explored the "Civil Rights Effects of State Immigration Laws." The testimony was given in Birmingham, Alabama on August 17, 2012.

Published On: Fri, Aug 17, 2012 | Download File

Q&A Guides to Arizona v. United States

How the Supreme Court Ruled and What It Means for Other States

By Ben Winograd

On June 25, 2012, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Arizona v. United States, striking down three provisions of the immigration law known as “SB 1070” and leaving a fourth open to future legal challenges. More than any matter in recent history, the case settled a range of important questions regarding the role that states may play in the enforcement of federal immigration law. The Court’s decision will affect not only the future of SB 1070, but the fate of other state immigration laws being challenged in court and the odds of similar laws being passed around the country.

This guide provides brief answers to common questions about Arizona v. United States, including how the Supreme Court decided the case and what the ruling means for immigration laws in other states.  Read more...

Published On: Tue, Jul 24, 2012

Public Education for Immigrant Students: States Challenge Supreme Court’s Decision in Plyler v. Doe

In June 1982, the Supreme Court issued Plyler v. Doe, a landmark decision holding that states cannot constitutionally deny students a free public education on account of their immigration status. By a 5-4 vote, the Court found that any resources which might be saved from excluding undocumented children from public schools were far outweighed by the harms imposed on society at large from denying them an education. Read more...

Published On: Fri, Jun 15, 2012 | Download File

What Arizona v. United States May Mean for States with Similar Immigration Laws

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Arizona v. United States, a case addressing the legality of the Arizona immigration law known as SB 1070.  According to the statement of legislative intent, the law was designed to make “attrition through enforcement” the official policy of all state and local agencies in Arizona.  Following the passage of SB 1070, numerous other states—including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah—passed legislation with similar provisions, which have also been challenged in court.  Read more...

Published On: Tue, Apr 17, 2012 | Download File

Bad for Business: How Anti-Immigration Legislation Drains Budgets and Damages States’ Economies

Updated 06/04/12 - This session, state legislatures are once again considering harsh immigration-control laws. These laws are intended to make everyday life so difficult for unauthorized immigrants that they will choose to “self-deport” and return to their home countries. Proponents of these laws claim that the departure of unauthorized immigrants will save states millions of dollars and create jobs for U.S citizens. However, experience from states that have passed similar anti-immigration measures shows that the opposite can occur: the impact of the laws can hinder prospects for economic growth, and the costs of implementing, defending, and enforcing these laws can force taxpayers to pay millions of dollars. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Mar 26, 2012 | Download File

Bad for Business: How Anti-Immigrant Laws Can Hurt the Kansas Economy

While proponents of harsh immigration laws in Kansas claim that passing these laws would save the state money, experience from other states shows harsh immigration-control laws will actually cost the state millions of dollars. Implementing the laws and defending them in the courts would cost Kansas’s taxpayers millions they can ill afford. The laws would make it more difficult for businesses to operate in the state and would deter investment, and the loss of taxpayers and consumers could devastate Kansas’s economy. Read more...

Published On: Fri, Feb 24, 2012 | Download File

Q&A Guide to State Immigration Laws

What You Need to Know if Your State is Considering Anti-immigrant Legislation

State Guide ThumbUpdated 2012 - In April 2010, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” or, as it is commonly known, SB1070. At the time of its passage, Arizona’s immigration law surpassed all previous state immigration-control efforts. While much of the law has been enjoined by the courts, its passage inspired legislators in other states to pass similar legislation.

Since SB1070 passed, 36 other states have attempted to pass harsh immigration-control laws. Of those, 31 states have rejected or refused to advance their bills. However, five states—Utah, Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama—have passed laws that mirror or go beyond the Arizona law. It is likely that additional states will attempt to pass similar anti-immigrant legislation during the 2012 legislative session.

SB1070 and other immigration-related state legislation represent, among other things, a growing frustration with our broken immigration system. The courts will decide the constitutionality of the various laws, and time will answer many questions about their impact. In the short term, much evidence suggests that an enforcement-only strategy—whether attempted at the federal or state level—will not solve the root causes of unauthorized immigration.Read more...

Published On: Thu, Feb 16, 2012 | Download File

Bad for Business: How Mississippi’s Proposed Anti-Immigration Laws Will Stifle the State Economy

While proponents of harsh immigration bills in Mississippi claim that passing these laws would save the state money, experience from other states shows these immigration laws will actually cost the state millions of dollars. Implementing the laws and defending them in the courts would cost Mississippi’s taxpayers millions they can ill afford. The laws would make it more difficult for businesses to operate in the state and would deter investment. The loss of taxpayers and consumers would devastate Mississippi’s economy.  Read more...

Published On: Thu, Feb 02, 2012 | Download File

The Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) Program: A Fact Sheet

Immigration law is highly complex. Determining which non-citizens are “lawfully” or “unlawfully” present and whether they should be allowed to stay in the United States are complex matters which involve the interpretation of a range of federal laws and regulations, broad policy considerations, and prioritization of existing resources, to name just a few considerations. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Dec 15, 2011 | Download File