State and Local Immigration Project | CLINIC
State and Local Immigration Project

Since 2007, CLINIC has been providing policy, engagement, and research support to advocates who are working on immigration legislation proposed and introduced at the state and local level. As efforts for immigration reform at the federal level continue to be delayed, state and local communities have been increasingly active on immigration-related matters.

For example, after the collapse of comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, approximately 500 immigration related bills were introduced by state legislators with 270 measures enacted. During the 2017 state legislative session, lawmakers in nearly all 50 states considered more than 300 proposed immigration bills between January and June. The bills addressed critical immigration topics, including local police participation in federal immigration enforcement, anti-sanctuary policies in schools and local government, as well as refugee resettlement.

Through the State and Local Immigration Project, CLINIC provides legal analysis, training, technical assistance, and support to advocates working to both combat anti-immigrant legislation and ordinances, and to support pro-immigrant measures. Contact CLINIC Advocacy staff, at for more information.


State and Local Updates

Friday, August 18, 2017 - 11:09am

This workshop provides an update on key measures CLINIC affiliates responded to during the 2017 state legislative session. It will also provide a national overview of state legislative trends and discuss successful strategies advocates used to respond to proposed bills in their respective states.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 3:38pm

Changes in federal immigration policies have motivated a substantial increase in state legislative action on immigration. This year, lawmakers in all 50 states met for legislative session. Between January and June, legislators in 49 states considered more than 300 immigration bills and resolutions. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there was a 90 percent increase in the number immigration laws enacted in the first half of 2017, compared to last year. In 2016, lawmakers in 41 states enacted 229 pieces of immigration legislation between January and June.

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 11:44am

This resource provides talking points for why states should enact laws that protect your community against notario fraud and other harmful immigration services.

Thursday, June 22, 2017 - 11:48am

A toolkit with ideas for working with your local officials on immigrant integration

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 4:42pm

Are you interested in learning how your local government can help you in your efforts to promote and encourage immigrant integration in your community? What resources and support can local government offer to your organization, and how can they assist your program in advancing its goals?  

Monday, March 6, 2017 - 11:35am

A document outlining how one can work with local officials on immigrant integration.

Monday, January 9, 2017 - 11:41am

A resource that describes the benefits of extending driving privileges to all residents.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 3:56pm

Civic engagement helps ensure the voices of the public are heard. This resource outlines how to stay up to date with your state legislative process and make sure yours is too.

Available in English.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 9:52am

A professional license authorizes practitioners of certain professions, such as medicine, law, social work, and cosmetology to work in a given industry. The licensing process exists to regulate a standard of skill and quality of service.

Monday, August 15, 2016 - 10:54am

This resource outlines the kinds of identification cards used by undocumented immigrants and their benefits to the community.

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 11:25am

This toolkit was created to help understand refugee resettlement.

Thursday, January 21, 2016 - 12:33pm

CLINIC advocates for the end of the U.S. policy of detaining families who arrive in the U.S. seeking protection from crime and violence in their home countries. It also participates in the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Representation and Advocacy Project, working to provide legal representation to these families.

State Immigration Enforcement

Monday, October 3, 2016 - 12:31pm

This updated resource provides additional statistics related to the financial contributions undocumented immigrants make to local economies, as well as public policy arguments to support immigrant-friendly communities.

Monday, August 8, 2016 - 2:32pm

This resources was created to understand immigration detainers and their impact on communities.

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 11:09am

Read five facts about state mandatory e-verify laws.

Thursday, February 11, 2016 - 10:13am

A wide array of city residents would benefit from eligibility for municipal ID cards, including such vulnerable groups as undocumented immigrants, victims of domestic violence or natural disaster, the homeless, low-income senior citizens, and the formerly incarcerated.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:21pm

A webinar outlining the recent enforcement efforts in the United States and a call to action for individuals.

Thursday, August 6, 2015 - 9:44am
We are called to show hospitality to newcomers. Placing non-criminals in detention is not in line with that value, nor does it realize refugees’ God given human rights.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 4:14pm

Many states and localities are considering and enacting laws and policies that welcome undocumented individuals and enhance their ability to live, work, and participate as contributing members of society.

Migration in the Community: Bishops' Statements

A collection of statements from bishops on migration in the community.

Bishop Edward Burns, new Bishop of Dallas pledges to emphasize solidarity with immigrants

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, MSpS of San Antonio releases statement in support of Texas district court ruling denying childcare licenses to immigration detention facilities

Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles speaks about the harsh reality of being undocumented, while suggesting a way forward on immigration reform that is just and merciful

Bishop Elizondo Eusebio urges Catholics to “Stand with Our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters”

Bishop Elizondo Eusebio reflects on immigration reform, family detention and other critical issues he worked on during his term as Chairman of USCCB’s Committee on Migration

Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzo of Brooklyn rethinks immigration and integration policies from a global perspective

Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin: Urge Public Officials to Stand in Solidarity with Syrian Refugees

USCCB President, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky says the Gospel serves the common good, not political agendas

Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle, Eusebio Elizondo encourages Catholics to overcome the partisan views that divides them on migration issues

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn presents facts about the economic contributions immigrants make to the United States

Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of the Diocese of Washington encourages the Catholic community to continue spreading welcoming message in support of immigrants

Bishop Taylor of Arkansas urges U.S. citizens to vote and encourages legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship and make their voices heard in the political process 

Statement of Bishop Elizondo, Chairman of the Committee on Migration of the USCCB on the Supreme Court’s decision in the U.S. v. Texas case

USCCB Migration Chairman, Archbishop Gomez voices concern over reports of recent ICE enforcement against Central American women and children.

Jackson Diocese and Other Faith Groups Defeat Mississippi’s Sanctuary Cities Bill

Southern Nebraska Bishop's Satement on Immigration Policy

Cardinal Statement on Immigration Policy

Santa Fe Archbishop Denounces Immigrant Detention Policy

Archdiocese of Anchorage Statement on Syrian Refugees, Fear of the Other

Additional Resources

National advocacy groups provide other resources on state and local immigration laws and policies. Below are a few resources:

The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) discusses research and advocacy about state and local issues on its website.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) tracks state legislation related to immigration.

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Immigration and the States Project examines the intersection of federal, state, and local immigration laws and policies.