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. Currently, over 490 state and local laws and resolutions have been enacted in 2015 alone.

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

Monday, March 14, 2016 - 11:25am

This toolkit was created to help understand refugee resettlement.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:21pm

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

Monday, February 8, 2016 - 3:59pm

This webinar addresses how States have dealt with immigration-related issues in the past and the anticipated trend for the 2016 legislative sessions. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 5:16pm

According to the National Conference of State and Legislatures, the number of immigration related laws enacted by states increased from 132 in 2014 to 153 in the first half of 2015 alone which is, in part, due to every state being in session in 2015.

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.

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.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 1:03pm

This webinar focuses on immigration issues and describes how other areas of social justice such as safety net programs, education, and transportation can include an immigration component.

State Immigration Enforcement

The phrase "Sanctuary city" originates from the religious immigration-centered movement of the 1980s...Churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions opposed the return of Central American refugees to the countries where they had been persecuted. This became known as the Sanctuary Movement."

Read five facts about state mandatory e-verify laws.

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.

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.

This webinar addresses the trend of law enforcement agencies across the country deciding not to detain individuals to hand over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for possible deportation.

ICE detainers are simply requests. It is not mandatory for local law enforcement to honor immigration detainers; when and whether to do so is discretionary.

Infographic Maps

This resource shows sanctuary cities and immigration enforcement bills proposed in 2016. It also shows U.S cities that are sanctuary cities.

Download a Copy


The map provides state legislative trends of pro-refugee and anti-refugee matters that were proposed in 2016 as well as Governors’ responses to the resettlement of  Syrian  refugees  in their respective jurisdictions. The map also provides information on refugee resettlement programs across the country.

Download a Copy



Download a Copy of the Driver's License Map

Additional Resources

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

The National Immigration Law Center engages in policy analysis, litigation, education, and advocacy on state and local issues.

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 National Council of La Raza (NCLR) provides tools for state and local advocates.

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