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States Urge Passage of Federal Immigration Reform (July 2014)

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The climate in the states on immigration has changed dramatically over the past few years.  In 2010 and 2011, state legislators passed sweeping anti-immigrant enforcement laws aimed at making life for immigrants as difficult as possible.  2013 and 2014 have witnessed a marked shift towards pro-immigrant legislation as numerous states have passed laws to integrate immigrants in various ways, including extending driving privileges and in-state tuition rates to their undocumented residents.  In addition, states have been sending the clear message to Congress that our federal immigration system is broken and our country urgently needs comprehensive immigration reform (CIR). 

The following chart summarizes most of the CIR resolutions introduced or passed by states during the 2013 and 2014 legislative sessions with links to the text of each resolution. These resolutions speak persuasively about the need for federal reform and contain specific references to immigrants’ countless 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.

 

2013 Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

State

Introduced [i]

Passed One Chamber

Adopted By Both Chambers

Arizona

SR 1001

 

 

California

 

 

AJR 3 and SJR 8

Colorado

 

 

SJM 3

Florida

 

S 816

 

Georgia

HR 912

 

 

Hawaii

HCR 67 and HR 51

 

 

Illinois

 

 

HR 377 and SR 328

Maine

 

 

SP 550

Missouri

SCR 10

 

 

Nevada

 

 

SJR 15

New Jersey

 

 

SR 95 and AR 142

New Mexico

 

 

SJM 52

New York

K 485

 

 

North Carolina

HR 627

 

 

Ohio

 

 

SR90

Oklahoma

HR 1014

 

 

Oregon

HJM 11

 

 

Texas

HCR 44 and SCR 15

 

 

 

[i] These resolutions were introduced but either failed to pass or remain pending in committee at the time of writing.  

 

2014 Resolutions in Support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

State

Introduced

Passed One Chamber

Adopted by both Chambers

Arizona

HCM 2012, SCM 1007, and SR 1011

 

 

California

 

SB 1402 and SR 40

 

Michigan

HR 291 and HCR 21

 

 

Missouri

SCR26

 

 

Nebraska

 

LR 399

 

New Jersey

 

SR61

 

 

In addition to legislative resolutions, states and localities are speaking out in other ways.  In Utah, for example, twenty seven state legislators wrote a letter to the state’s congressional delegation this June urging them to pass immigration reform this year.  Countless city councils across the country have passed resolutions in support of CIR including Boston, MA; Tucson, AZ; El Paso, TX; Seattle, WA; Anaheim, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and North Miami, FL.[1]  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.”[2]  Even prominent business leaders, including CEOs of such companies as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, have called on Congress to take action on immigration reform.[3]  

 

 

This document was updated in July 2014 by CLINIC’s FirstGEN Fellow Karla Davis.  For questions, please contact State and Local Advocacy Attorney, Jen Riddle, at jriddle@cliniclegal.org or (301) 565-4807.