Who Should Handle Immigration?
In the December 17th ACCE Policy Clearinghouse Update we profile how some states are taking their own steps to tackle immigration reform. (Check your inbox if you haven't seen the article).
The article examines a new Arizona law that has the potential to severely impact business with heavy sanctions for employing undocumented workers. It also looks at New York, where Governor Eliot Spitzer failed in an attempt to issue driver's licenses to illegal aliens.
Arizona and New York are far from alone. According to the National Conference of State Legislators, this year 1562 pieces of legislation related to immigrants and immigration were introduced, of which 244 became law in 46 states. (Click here to read the full article)
States are not the only participants in the flurry of immigration policymaking. Local governments in cities and counties across the country are also responding to public sentiment with their own immigration policies and enforcement efforts.
Fearful that state and local level immigration policy developments will create a confusing, fragmented system, many chambers and business leaders are renewing the call for federal immigration reform. However, after the collapse of bipartisan immigration legislation this summer, will either party want to champion pragmatic immigration reform again, particularly in an election year?
So, should immigration be left to Washington, or is it prudent for should states push ahead with their own comprehensive bills to preempt disjointed local policymaking? Leave a comment and tell us what you think. Better yet, post a link to a position paper from your chamber.