Local communities are increasingly rejecting punitive anti-immigrant
law enforcement policies such as 287g from the previous administration.
They are walking away from agreements to have local police serve as
federal immigration authorities, rejecting both their budgetary costs
and the way they damage relationships and trust between police and the
communities they serve.
The numbers from this month's job report were brutal:
263,000 payroll jobs lost in a month and the unemployment rate hit 9.8
percent. Since the pre-recession peak, the economy has lost 7.2
million jobs and overall hours worked have now declined by 8.6
percent. A record share of the unemployed (35.6 percent) are
“long-term unemployed” and have been out of work for at least six
While immigration continued to be debated in states across the country
this session, most anti-immigrant bills were defeated and more positive
approaches to new immigrants were debated. Even in sessions dominated
by budget crises, positive policies were enacted in many states.
Reports Continue to Highlight the Dire Economy but also Tools for Recovery:
Recovery package eases but does not eliminate job woes- As EPI
highlights in this state-by-state map of projected job losses, even
with the recently passed stimulus package, most states will still have
fewer jobs at the end of 2010 than they did before the recession began.
The Future of Middle-Skill Jobs - This brief from the Brookings Institution
examines the importance of mid-level jobs in helping disadvantaged
workers move up the economic ladder. With demand for those mid-level
jobs growing, we need policies to help low-income workers gain the
education and training to qualify for them.
The general failure of anti-immigration politics
at the polls in recent years has led many state leaders to switch their
focus from anti-immigration initiatives to addressing the real
challenge of integrating new immigrants into our communities and
economy. This change of strategy is especially critical in a time when
we need all in our community working together to revive our states.
In fact, many state leaders have been quietly pursuing smart,
integrative policies that promote stronger local communities, protect
public safety and save money for the taxpayers. As Progressive States
highlighted in our September 2008 report The Anti-Immigrant Movement That Failed,
the majority of both legal and undocumented immigrants live in states
that are promoting some version of integrative policies, even as the
media continues to focus on the relative handful of state where
punitive policies have been enacted.
With legislative sessions getting underway around the country, this
Dispatch provides a list of key bills and policies that we encourage
legislators to consider introducing. While not exhaustive of the range
of needed reforms in states, they emphasize initiatives of strategic
importance that are being considered in multiple states. Working with
our various partners, Progressive States Network is providing staff
support for these policies and will work to use movement in multiple
states to generate national media and attention. This in turn will
create greater momentum to assist individual states in pushing bills to
passage. The following is a quick checklist of key policies with links
to model legislation and policy summaries.