Skip to Content

Programs:

State and Local

Bad for Business: How Alabama’s Anti-Immigrant Law Stifles State Economy

Although key provisions of Alabama’s HB 56 are on hold while its constitutionality is being tested in the courts, evidence is mounting of the growing fiscal and economic impact of the new law. State economic experts and business leaders agree that the law has already caused hardship for Alabama’s businesses and citizens.
Read more...

Published On: Wed, Nov 09, 2011 | Download File

Turning Off the Water: How the Contracting and Transaction Provisions in Alabama's Immigration Law Make Life Harder

Turning Off the Water: How the Contracting and Transaction Provisions in Alabama's Immigration Law Make Life Harder For Everyone

By Joan Friedland

Since passage of HB 56, Alabama’s extreme new immigration law, many are aware of the most immediate consequences of the law—rotting tomatoes, racial profiling, and frightened school children. However, two provisions of the law that have the potential to be extremely damaging to the state’s economy, rule of law, and municipal functioning have received comparatively little attention. These two provisions have been in effect since September 30,, 2011, and are likely to result in an increase of exploitation of workers, erosion of fundamental legal protections, and denial of access to state and local government services and activities. In other words, these provisions will undoubtedly impact the daily lives of all Alabamians.Read more...

Published On: Tue, Nov 01, 2011 | Download File

Revitalizing the Golden State

By Raúl Hinojosa-Ojeda, Ph.D.

California is home to nearly 10 million immigrants, more than one quarter of the state’s population. Of those, 2.7 million are undocumented, and the vast majority of them have been living in the United States for more than 10 years. California’s immigrant contributions to the Golden State cannot be overstated. From Cesar Chavez, the pioneering agricultural labor-rights leader in the 20th century to Sergei Brin, the Russian entrepreneur behind one of the 21st century’s most revolutionary companies, Google Inc., the foreign born and their descendants are woven into the state’s cultural and economic fabric. 

Still, that reality has not prevented some Californians, frustrated with our broken federal immigration system, to call for an Arizona-style “papers please” approach. The stated goal of this new wave of state-based enforcement legislation is to trigger a mass exodus of undocumented immigrants, by making “attrition through enforcement” the policy of state and local government agencies. The threshold question that proponents of S.B.1070-style legislation have failed to answer is whether that goal serves the economic interests of the state’s constituents.Read more...

Published On: Wed, Apr 27, 2011 | Download File

Q&A Guide to Arizona's Immigration Law

One year after the passage of Arizona’s tough new immigration law (SB1070), both opponents and proponents are attempting to assess the impact the new law may have on residents of Arizona—citizens and immigrants alike.  A federal district court ruling preliminarily enjoined large parts of the controversial law, meaning that those portions of the new law cannot be implemented, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the preliminary injunction.  Other lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of the law and have yet to be ruled on, opponents have mounted boycotts, and numerous polls show that a majority of the public both supports the Arizona law and comprehensive immigration reform.  Furthermore, despite criticism of SB1070 from Republicans, Democrats, police officials, religious leaders, and civil-rights leaders, legislators in many states have introduced or are considering introducing similar legislation.
Read more...

Published On: Tue, Apr 26, 2011 | Download File

Constitutional Citizenship: A Legislative History

By Garrett Epps

Attacks against the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment have picked up in recent months, with legislators at both the national and state levels introducing bills that would deny U.S. citizenship or “state citizenship” to the children born to unauthorized immigrants in the U.S.

There are two strands of attacks on birthright citizenship.  One strand arises out of simple nativist anger at the impact of immigrants, legal or otherwise, on society.  The other argues that the current interpretation of the Citizenship Clause as covering the children of “illegal” immigrants is inconsistent with the “original intent” of the Framers of the 14th Amendment.  Originalism is often used as a method to clarify unclear portions of constitutional text or to fill contextual gaps in the document. This is not, however, how originalism is being used in the context to the Citizenship Clause.  Here, originalists use clever arguments and partial quotations to eradicate the actual text of the Amendment.  In essence, they claim the Framers did not really mean what they said. Read more...

Published On: Mon, Mar 28, 2011 | Download File

Eliminating Birthright Citizenship Would Not Solve the Problem of Unauthorized Immigration

There is no evidence that undocumented immigrants come to the U.S. just to give birth.
Read more...

  • Unauthorized immigrants come to the U.S. to work and to join family members.  Immigrants tend to be of child-bearing age and have children while they are in the U.S.  They do not come specifically to give birth.
  • Stories about “birth tourism” point to small numbers of foreigners who come to the U.S. legally to give birth to their children.  It would be ridiculous to change the U.S. Constitution and impact every single American just to punish a few individuals.

Published On: Tue, Jan 04, 2011 | Download File

Papers Please: Eliminating Birthright Citizenship Would Affect Everyone

Attacks on birthright citizenship at the federal and state level are bound to take many forms—from outright repeal of the Fourteenth Amendment to refusal by states to issue birth certificates to children of undocumented immigrants.  Whatever the tactic, attacks on birthright citizenship hurt everyone. Read more...

Published On: Tue, Jan 04, 2011 | Download File

Separating Fact from Fiction: The Truth about Kidnapping in Arizona

An oft-repeated claim in the debate over Arizona’s harsh anti-immigrant law, SB 1070, is that tough immigration-enforcement measures are needed to prevent violent crime from engulfing the state.  In particular, supporters of SB 1070 often cite kidnappings in the state’s capital, Phoenix, as a reason to crack down on unauthorized immigrants.  Arizona politicians such as U.S. Senator John McCain and State Senator Russell Pearce, for instance, have justified their calls for more immigration enforcement by claiming that Phoenix is the “the number two kidnapping capital of the world” after Mexico City.  Not only is this claim false, but it ignores two inconvenient facts.  First of all, the victims of most kidnappings in Phoenix are unauthorized immigrants.  Second, crime rates in Arizona have been falling for years.  Cracking down on the unauthorized immigrants upon whom so many kidnappers prey is a classic case of blaming the victim.  Moreover, this blame-the-victim posture diverts attention from the fact that the broken U.S. immigration system has created a lucrative market for kidnappers.

The claim that Phoenix is “the number two kidnapping capital of the world” is untrue.Read more...

Published On: Thu, Aug 26, 2010 | Download File

The Economic and Political Impact of Immigrants, Latinos and Asians in all 50 States

Find out how much immigrants, Latinos and Asians contribute to your state's economy:

Read more...

Published On: Wed, Jul 28, 2010 | Download File