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New Immigration Laws

In most scenarios, passing fewer laws serves as a limitation to the people’s freedom and liberty. Certainly, for immigration issues, it would seem as though less is far from more. Our broken immigration system is obviously in dire need of restructuring and, at first glance, it seems almost commonsensical that the fewer immigration laws passed, the longer and more excruciatingly tedious that restructuring will be.

Immigration Issues

Immigration Legislation LawsWhat one must realize, however, is that in terms of laws actually being passed, quality trumps quantity. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) recently released the results of a study on the passage of immigration measures this year. It found that forty one states enacted 114 bills and adopted ninety two resolutions relating to immigration from January through June of this year. This is a decrease of twenty percent from 2011 for the same time frame. The NCSL attributes this decline to a shift in the priorities of lawmakers, gradually moving away from immigration and into balancing the budget. Additionally, it claims that this decline is also due in part to U.S. courts evaluating pending litigation on how much authority states have in enforcing immigration laws.To understand why less, in this case, is actually more, let us take a look at the immigration laws that were passed last year. Five states last year followed the suit of the law that Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) signed two years ago, SB 1070 – or the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah individually passed laws designed to drive out undocumented immigrants from the state. In addition, thirty state legislatures introduced more than fifty immigration bills that ran in some line parallel to SB 1070. Fortunately, the laws passed in those states were either partially or entirely blocked by U.S. courts.

Immigration Law

Immigration LegislationIn comparison to this year, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out three provisions of SB 1070, only five states introduced bills similar to SB 1070, none of which were enacted, and states continue to approve legislation that funds naturalization and migrant and refugee programs. Statistically, twenty five percent of approved legislation is related to the latter immigration issue, eighteen percent of approved legislation is related to identification, and eleven percent is related to granting driver’s licenses.While approved legislation in the first six months of this year is far from being a thorough reformatting of our immigration system, the shift in the general outlook refreshing relative to last year. The overarching theme remains the necessity of increased legislation on immigration; however, the type and quality of the legislation must also and always be taken into consideration because, as seen in 2011, more can sometimes be less.
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