When Arizona rocketed to national notoriety when it passed SB 1070, it kicked off an anti-immigrant craze in state lawmaking. But state lawmakers found other things to occupy their time this year. Fewer states passed immigration bills this year, according to an analysis released by the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Immigrant Policy Project today.
In the first six months of the year 41 states enacted 114 immigration bills and passed 92 immigration-related resolutions, down 20 percent from the more than 250 laws and resolutions state legislatures passed in the first half of just last year, when lawmakers introduced a record number of immigration bills. States still tackling immigration are doing so namely to restrict the lives of undocumented immigrants by empowering law enforcement officers to engage in immigration investigations.
But the costly, protracted Supreme Court battle over SB 1070 gave state lawmakers pause. “States took a bit of a pause on the issue of immigration as they waited for the Supreme Court to rule,” Senator John Watkins of Virginia, co-chair of the NCSL Immigration and the States Task Force said in a statement.
In the meantime, state lawmakers went back to other, more pressing issues, like tackling budget deficits, and restricting voter access to the polls.
Read the NCSL report for more.