How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

A slowdown in state immigration bills introduced, enacted

az state capitol

Photo by Willem van Bergen/Flickr

The Arizona State Capitol building in Phoenix

The recent crush of state laws related to immigration continues to slow, and just as Arizona's SB 1070 helped fuel it, the legal trajectory of the trendsetting 2010 anti-illegal immigration law has helped slow it down.

The National Conference of State Legislatures, which keeps tabs on this, announced in a report today that the number of immigration-related state laws introduced and enacted so far this year has "dropped markedly" from previous years. Between Jan. 1 and June 30 of this year, lawmakers in 46 states and the District of Columbia introduced a total of 948 bills and resolutions related to immigrants and refugees, compared with 1,592 in the first half of last year.

That is a 40 percent drop altogether. Similarly, the number of immigration-related state measures enacted has dropped: In the first half of 2012, 41 state legislatures enacted 114 immigration-related bills and adopted 92 resolutions, 20 percent fewer measures than the 257 state laws and resolutions enacted in the first half of 2011.


Top five immigration stories of 2011, #1: The battle in the states

Photo by TK/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A year ago, when Multi-American was counting down the top five immigration stories of 2010, topping the list with Arizona's game-changing SB 1070 was a no-brainer. Not necessarily because news of the 2010 anti-illegal immigration law dominated immigration coverage last year, but because of the lasting impact the law was bound to have on other states. I wrote then:
What continues to make SB 1070 such an important story are its ramifications beyond Arizona, which will be playing out in the years to come. Even with some of its provisions still hung up in appeals court by the pending federal challenge, SB 1070 has emboldened conservative state legislators around the country to draft their own versions of the law, some just as strict or more so than the original.

A year later, SB 1070-inspired immigration enforcement bills have made their way through statehouses around the country. Similarly strict laws have taken effect in states like Alabama, Georgia, Utah, Indiana and South Carolina.