Last week's midterm elections herald the possibility of a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment sweeping many statehouses, and underscore the need for common-sense, progressive state immigration policy that expands opportunity for all residents, immigrant and native-born alike, and welcomes immigrant contributions to state and local economies and communities.
Federal immigration officials recently reported that they deported a record 392,892 immigrants over the last year - a figure significantly higher than during the last year of President George W. Bush's term and the second straight year the nation has experienced an increase in deportations. Only half of those deported - 195,772 - were convicted of crimes, meaning roughly half of those who were deported committed no crime at all.
Policies that seek to exclude, segregate, and stigmatize foreign-born residents might be politically helpful to a small group of extremists, but they are also an assault on America’s values as a nation of immigrants committed to "liberty and justice for all." Thankfully, as the Arizona approach fails in state after state, we are seeing that elected officials and voters across the nation already recognize this fact.
Progressive States Network’s immigration-related work falls into a few key categories including: Wage Enforcement and Workers's Rights, Immigrant Integration, Community Policing, and Support Women and Minority Entrepreneurs as Potential Engines of Economic Growth and Job Creation.
This week, as the White House announced plans for yet
another push on federal comprehensive immigration reform, a network of
lawmakers so far representing 28 states — from border states to the
heartland — announced their rejection of Arizona’s mean-spirited and
economically disastrous approach to immigrants, SB1070.
At a press briefing co-hosted by Progressive States
Network and the National Immigration Law Center, members of State Legislators
for Progressive Immigration Policy (SLPIP)-- a dynamic and
rapidly growing group of 54 legislators representing 28 states --
unveiled legislation they are advancing in their states to promote the
effective integration of immigrants as critical members of communities
and state economies