By Daniel C. Vock, Stateline , May 7, 2013
States this year are passing a slew of immigrant-friendly laws, a major change from the strict enforcement measures Arizona and other states approved just a few years ago.
The November elections that put immigration back on Congress’ agenda also prompted the shift at the state level. Pro-immigrant measures that had been stalled for years got new life this spring, while courts have thwarted state efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.
Last week alone, two governors signed laws permitting unauthorized immigrants to get driver’s licenses, another approved a law to grant in-state tuition to young immigrants, and the U.S. Supreme Court rebuffed Alabama’s efforts to defend its immigration enforcement law.
The pro-immigrant surge has been a “radical departure” from recent trends, said Alvin Melathe, an immigration expert for the Progressive States Network, which favors immigrant rights.