States Voice Support for Federal Immigration Reform
Overview of State Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform
The climate in the states on immigration has changed noticeably over the past few years. After comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) failed to pass in 2007, states began enacting a patchwork of their own immigration measures. Arizona’s 2010 sweeping anti-immigrant law, for example, was followed by a series of copycat laws in other states as legislators focused on enforcement and making life for immigrants as difficult as possible. While state immigration enforcement bills continued to be introduced in 2012 and 2013, most lacked the traction to pass. 2013 has witnessed a marked shift towards pro-immigrant legislation as numerous states have passed laws to extend driving privileges and in-state tuition rates to the undocumented population. In addition, states have been sending the clear message to Congress that our broken immigration system needs comprehensive federal reform.
The following summary captures most of the CIR resolutions introduced or passed by states during the 2013 legislative session with links to the text of each resolution. These resolutions speak persuasively about the need for federal immigration reform and contain specific references to immigrants’ many contributions to the social and economic fabric of the state, its communities, and its families. Upon passage, resolutions are typically forwarded to the President of the United States, leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives, and members of the states’ Congressional delegations. CLINIC hopes that the principles and statements contained in the below resolutions may inform your own immigration advocacy with state and national actors.
STATE RESOLUTIONS INTRODUCED1
Arizona: SR 1001 was introduced in the Senate on January 23, 2013.2
Georgia: HR 912 was introduced in the House on March 26, 2013.3
Missouri: SCR 10 was offered in the Senate on February 19, 2013. 5
New York: K 485 was introduced in the Assembly on May 23, 2013.6
North Carolina: HR 627 was filed in the House on April 9, 2013.7
Oklahoma: HR 1014 was introduced in the House on April 4, 2013.8
Oregon: HJM 11 was introduced in the House on February 25, 2013.9
STATE RESOLUTIONS THAT PASSED AT LEAST ONE CHAMBER:
Florida: S 816 was adopted by the Senate on April 26, 2013. 12
New Mexico: SJM 52 was passed by the Senate on March 15, 2013.13
STATE RESOLUTIONS THAT PASSED BOTH CHAMBERS:
California: AJR 3 was adopted by the Assembly on May 6, 2013, amended and passed by the Senate on July 1, 2013, and returned to the Assembly where it remains pending.14
Colorado: SJM 13-003 passed in the Senate on April 24, 2013 and in the House on May 7, 2013.15
Maine: SP 550 was adopted by the House and the Senate on April 30, 2013.17
Nevada: SJR 15 passed the Senate on April 3, 2013 and the Assembly on April 30, 2013.18
In addition to state resolutions, countless city councils across the country have passed resolutions in support of CIR including Boston, MA; Tucson, AZ; El Paso, TX; Seattle, WA; and Anaheim, CA.20 In Kansas, a group of thirty-two mayors wrote a letter to the state’s congressional delegation urging them to adopt immigration reform including “reasonable access to citizenship.”21
This update was prepared in July 2013 by CLINIC’s State & Local Advocacy Attorney Jen Riddle and Advocacy Intern Ashton Hupman. For questions, please contact Jen Riddle at firstname.lastname@example.org or (301) 565-4807.
1 These resolutions were introduced but either failed to pass or remain pending in committee at the time of writing.
20 http://anaheimblog.net/2013/04/23/anaheim-ciity-council-approves-immigration-reform-resolution/; http://immigration-reform-issues.blogspot.com/2011/10/washington-state-leads-effort-on.html ; http://baystatebanner.com/news/2013/jun/19/boston-city-council-passes-resolution-supporting-f/ ; http://immigrationimpact.com/2013/03/01/immigration-policy-in-the-states-a-roundup/ ; http://www.seiu.org/2013/06/momentum-members-and-allies-mobilize-for-immigrati.php