Perry: No new state services for illegal immigrants

Mike Ward of the Austin American Statesman reported on 8/20/2012:

Joining a growing chorus of complaints about President Barack Obama’s new policy giving some illegal immigrants a two-year reprieve from deportation, Gov. Rick Perry has advised state agencies that the federal move will not change Texas’ policies against providing services for those who remain in the country.

In a letter distributed to state agencies on Monday, Perry calls the president’s plan “a slap in the face to the rule of law.”

“To avoid any confusion on the impact of the Obama administration’s actions, I am writing to ensure that all Texas agencies understand that (Homeland Security) Secretary (Janet) Napolitano’s guidelines confer absolutely no legal status whatsoever to any alien who qualifies for the federal ‘deferred action’ designation,” Perry said.  Read more »


Huffington Post: The Beginning Of The End Of The Anti-Immigrant State Law Movement?

On July 2, 2012 Kristian Ramos (HuffPost) wrote:

Anyone who witnessed Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s rambling, borderline incoherent press conference on the Supreme Court’s SB1070 ruling must have been struck by two things. First, she had written her speech well before actually hearing the court’s verdict, and secondly she had no idea what had actually occurred in the ruling. Tellingly, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his adviser Kris Kobach, the mastermind of the anti-immigrant state law movement were respectively silent and sober in their immediate post-ruling spin. They must have realized that the Supreme Court had just gutted the anti-immigrant state-law movement’s core belief that states could create and enforce their own immigration laws.

Read more »

KUT News: For Texas GOP, A New Position On Immigration Reform

On June 9, 2012 Morgan Smith and Julian Aguilar (Texas Tribune) wrote:

Late Friday night, Texas Republicans approved an unprecedented change to their official party platform: a call for a national guest-worker program.

The more moderate language is a welcoming gesture to Hispanics who have avoided the GOP because of what they view as its hardline position on immigration issues.

“It takes away a tool that Democrats have used for years to drive a wedge between conservative Hispanics and Republicans,” said’s Bob Price, who is also a delegate at the Republican Party’s state convention.The platform, which is not binding, is more of a political statement than a rulebook and often ends up advertising the state party’s most radical views. That means the new philosophy won’t necessarily translate to new policy — in fact, a state guest worker bill carried by two Republican legislators failed to pass last session. But it does reflect a concrete effort to reach out to Hispanic voters, which may come at the expense of irking the party’s conservative activists. It passed the floor of the convention after many delegates resisted what they called a watering down of conservative principles.

Read more »

GSN Magazine: State immigration bills see significant drop, but not off the table

On 5/23/12 Mark Rockwell wrote:

The number of bills introduced in states across the U.S. dropped significantly in the first quarter of 2012, according to a state legislature association study released on May 22, but some may be waiting for the Supreme Court to weigh in.

The National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL), which bills itself as a bipartisan organization serving legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories, said although immigration continues to be a hot-button issue with state lawmakers, bills aimed at immigrants and refugees saw a steep decline in this year’s first quarter compared to last year’s.

Read more »

Clarion Ledger – Immigration bill: Not a state issue

Editorial published March 15, 2012:

The Mississippi Legislature appears determined to forge ahead with punitive immigration enforcement legislation, despite the evidence that it is not needed and potentially harmful.

Mississippi does have a growing immigrant population, but a small population of illegal immigrants. Estimates put the number at about 45,000. Illegal immigration has not been a major issue for this state.

But, illegal immigration is a hot-button, popular political issue for some legislators, who have offered up copy-cat proposals from other states. Arizona and Alabama have passed the most punitive anti-immigration laws, which have been challenged in court and have brought economic boycotts and protests against the state. A University of Alabama study found that Alabama’s law could cost that state $2.3 billion annually and result in the loss of 70,000-140,000 jobs. Read more …


WNYC: Solidarity Between Immigrants, Civil Rights Marchers After Ala. HB 56 Ruling

On March 9, 2012, Sarah Kate Kramer writes:

Immigrants in Alabama are pushing back against the controversial immigration law HB 56, and it’s working.

In the same week as thousands of Latinos are marching with African American leaders to commemorate the bloody civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery that took place 47 years ago, a federal appeals court temporarily blocked two more sections of HB 56 on Thursday.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals enjoined Sections 27 and 30 of the state law until legal challenges brought by the federal government and a coalition of church and civil rights groups are resolved.

The state legislature passed HB 56, a law targeting undocumented immigrants in June 2011, and it immediately gained notoriety as the toughest immigration law in the country. In September, Federal Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn issued preliminary injunctions against a few provisions of the law, including one prohibiting undocumented immigrants from attending public universities, another that outlawed harboring or transporting undocumented immigrants and a third that outlawed stopping for day laborers if a motor vehicle blocked traffic. But Judge Blackburn left intact two of the most controversial elements of the law. Read more …

CBS News: Court blocks parts of Ala. immigration law

March 8, 2012:

ATLANTA – A federal appeals court on Thursday blocked two more sections of Alabama’s tough new law targeting illegal immigration pending the outcome of lawsuits that seek to overturn the law entirely.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order temporarily halting a section that says courts can’t enforce contracts involving illegal immigrants and another that makes it a felony for an illegal immigrant to do business with the state.

The law adopted last year was challenged by both the federal government and a coalition of activist groups. A three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit heard arguments last week but said it won’t rule on the overall case until the U.S. Supreme Court decides a federal challenge to a similar law in Arizona. The appeals court is also weighing Georgia’s law.

Lawyers in the Alabama case had asked the court to at least temporarily stop the two sections and others, claiming they were causing harm to people in the state.

“We are very pleased that the Eleventh Circuit understood the harms these provisions were causing in Alabama, and saw fit to enjoin them,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Sam Brooke, who argued before the panel last week. “This is a great day for the residents of our state.”

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange said he strongly disagrees with the court’s decision.  Read more …

Las Vegas Sun: Looking at immigrant populations and immigration enforcement laws by state

Tovin Lapan reports on March 2, 2012:

As immigration issues keep getting peppered into presidential debates and the back and forth between the GOP and Democrats in the lead up to the general election, a lot of interesting and informative reports are being released on immigration, many of which are making good use of the 2010 census data.

The March/April issue of Mother Jones has an analysis of the immigration laws passed across the country since 2010.

Nevada does not factor into the analysis much, but it is an interesting analysis of the various laws passed throughout the US and which states have crafted the most legislation regarding immigrants.

The article is accompanied by a database that list all of the laws passed since 2010 in each state.

The Mother Jones article also maps Pew Hispanic Center data showing changes in state populations of unauthorized immigrants.

Read more …