The National Conference of State Legislators has updated their tracking of state legislation.
As of July 2, 2007, no fewer than 1404 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration had been introduced among the 50 state legislatures. From January to July 2nd 2007, 170 bills became law in 41 states. Four bills have been vetoed by the Governor. Another twelve bills are pending gubernatorial approval.
State legislators have introduced roughly two and a half times more bills in 2007, than in 2006. The number of enactments from 2006 (84) has more than doubled to 170 in 2007. Several states are still in session so there could be additional legislation related to immigrants later this year.
In the continued absence of a comprehensive federal reform of the United States’ challenged immigration system, states have displayed an unprecedented level of activity – and have developed a variety of their own approaches and different solutions.
Arizona passed a law prohibiting employers from hiring undocumented workers. The law requires all employers to use the Basic Pilot Program. Businesses who do not comply face suspension or revocation of their business licenses. The Illinois legislature, in contrast, passed legislation, which is pending gubernatorial approval, that would prohibit employers from enrolling in the Employment Eligibility Verification System until the system meets certain accuracy criteria. Arkansas, in an adopted resolution, requests the federal government to develop a guest worker taxation system to provide basic health care services to guest workers. Oregon passed a law making it illegal to perform any immigration consultation without active status in the Oregon Bar. Texas tackled the issue of human trafficking.
Immigration-related legislation covers almost every policy arena relevant in state legislatures.