The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: States Take On Immigration
The U.S. Department of Justice sues Alabama and possibly other states
Although not much has been pushed forward legislatively at the federal level, Alabama joined one of several states that have passed immigration legislation in the past couple years in June of 2011. Without much hope that Congress will act anytime soon on immigration, the Department of Justice aggressively filed a lawsuit against Alabama’s anti-immigrant law (HB 56) on August 1, 2011. The DOJ is also in the process of considering lawsuits against immigration laws passed in other states including Utah, Indiana, Georgia and South Carolina. For a great visual representation and brief outline of what each state is doing about the immigration issue, see this report recently released by the National Council of La Raza.
California passes pro-immigrant measures
Whereas other states have been passing harmful immigration laws, California has taken a different approach to dealing with their immigrant population. On October 9, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law the California DREAM Act, making it possible for undocumented students seeking to go to college to apply for private scholarships and loans and to be eligible for state funded financial aid. California has passed four additional laws that will protect and benefit undocumented workers, drivers whose only violation is lack of license, and undocumented students in public schools, colleges, and universities.
DC takes a stand on immigration
District of Columbia’s mayor signs an order prohibiting DC police from inquiring about immigration status. Read more here.