E-Verify is a federal pilot employment-verification system that filters a worker’s identification information through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases---in theory, flagging as ineligible any worker whose information doesn’t match up with federal records. This controversial system has become a go-to talking point for anti-immigrant officials intent on a misguided “self-deportation” policy, which does nothing to address the root causes of America’s broken immigration system.
In this week’s Research Roundup: Reports from Demos on a better jobs plan for the nation, the West Virginia Policy Center and North Carolina Justice Center on the state of the economy for working families, the Commonwealth Fund on the latest status of state health insurance exchange legislation, the U.S.
As comprehensive immigration reform remained stalled in Washington, D.C. in the first half of 2011, common-sense state legislators across the nation took up the fight in their legislative sessions, defeating expensive and misguided enforcement bills that targeted undocumented immigrants and their families. Despite the deluge of SB 1070 copycat bills promised by anti-immigrant groups, attempts to mimic Arizona’s anti-immigrant law largely failed, as did a far-right effort to rewrite the U.S. Constitution by revoking citizenship for children born in the United States. Encouragingly, state legislative sessions saw a wide variety of innovative and common-sense proposals that sought to expand opportunity for all residents, both immigrant and native-born, through approaches emphasizing access to education, workforce development, and community policing.
Beginning almost immediately with the gaveling-in of sessions in January, newly empowered conservatives unleashed a torrent of attacks aimed directly at workers, women, children, immigrants, historically disenfranchised populations, and the very existence of the middle class. Coordinated multi-state efforts like the assault on collective bargaining, extremist restrictions on reproductive rights, broad Arizona-style attacks on immigrants, and attempts to institute new barriers to voting through Voter ID requirements all repeatedly made national news.
In this week’s research roundup: reports by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examining specific protections states can adopt to limit adverse selection in the state health care exchanges, surveying proposed or enacted state exchange legislation from 2011 legislative sessions and analyzing how cuts in state budgets jeopardize the economic recovery, studies by the Center for American Progress noting how states are leading the charge in enacting tuition equity legislation and identifying the true costs of the controversial E-Verify immigratio
We have much to report in this Update from the State Immigration Project, and not only in response to Arizona’s recent anti-immigrant law (SB 1070) and its aftermath.
A broad network of elected officials, State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy (SLPIP), continues to grow and now includes legislators from twenty nine states;
Despite considerable mainstream media coverage of anti-immigrant proposals, state legislators are advancing pro-immigrant legislation and have largely blocked anti-immigrant bills being pushed in the wake of Arizona’s law;
A federal judge has blocked implementation of most provisions of SB 1070;
Based on state policy models, the federal DREAM Act to support a path to legalization and access to higher education for immigrant youth continues to gain support;
A wide range of policy and polling resources have been released that support pro-immigrant action from legislators and advocates.
Although the General Assembly met this year in regular session from
January-April, the session was overshadowed by negotiations over how to
resolve a $1.5 billion budget gap in 2011 and 2012. Governor Steve
Beshear’s initial proposal to close the shortfall relied heavily on new
revenue from the expansion of gaming. The House agreed to support the
increase in gaming revenue, but Senate leadership refused to consider