By Allison Posner
On February 6, CLINIC launched its new, interactive web feature highlighting state and local immigration initiatives across the country. This feature is publically available for free, thanks to a grant from the Ford Foundation.
In 2007, CLINIC created a project to support advocates working to address the growing number of restrictionist immigration measures proposed and enacted at the state and local levels. After the collapse of comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, approximately 500 immigration-related bills were introduced by state legislators. By 2008, the number of proposed immigration-related bills had tripled to 1,562. In 2011, legislatures in all 50 states considered at least one measure related to immigrants, the most notably being the legislation enacted in Arizona.
CLINIC'S cutting-edge online resource provides practitioners, advocates, and the general public with legal and policy analyses, technical assistance, and advocacy tools such as statements from U.S. Catholic bishops, Q&As, talking points, and issue briefs.
"For almost 25 years, CLINIC has provided critical support to the country's largest network of charitable legal immigration service providers," said Maria M. Odom, CLINIC's executive director. "Today, we face an environment in which legislators are proposing competing enforcement-only measures. Our interactive map will easily guide users to CLINIC's state-specific resources on a wide variety of topics and will allow users to compare states, issues, and bills affecting the lives of immigrants and their families."
The webpage features a clickable map and allows users to search based on topics found in bills including employment, public benefits, education, and criminal law enforcement. CLINIC will add new materials to the page as legislative sessions across the country continue. Many of the resources will also be available in Spanish.