According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan research groups, a record number of immigration bills were submitted in during the 2011 legislative session – ended June 30.
Of the 50 states and Puerto Rico, 1,592 bills were introduced. Of those, 40 states enacted 152 of the bills, with 5 laws vetoed by governors.
The research group shared that the majority of the bills introduced were regarding employment issues, identification, and law enforcement. Five states introduced legislation similar to that of Arizona’s highly controversial SB 1070. The Arizona law requires local law enforcement to, when performing a lawful stop, check the immigration status of those they suspect to be in the country without documentation. However, all five of the laws – in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah – have been or are being challenged in federal courts as immigration law enforcement is under the jurisdiction of federal officials, not state and local authorities.
During this past session, 10 states passed laws that require employers to use E-Verify to confirm that all potential employees are eligible to work in the U.S.
On the positive side for the undocumented, the states of Maryland and Connecticut now allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at state universities and colleges.