As this Dispatch will detail, after considerable media hype about Arizona-style bills sweeping across the nation, the reality is that from from Nevada to Arkansas to Massachusetts to Kansas and Rhode Island,
anti-immigrant bills and ballot initiatives largely didn't move or
failed to make this fall's ballot. A key reason: most state leaders
and police chiefs recognize that requiring local governments to assume
immigration enforcement responsibilities from the federal government
will distract them from fighting violent crime and undermine trust with
local residents that are essential to successful community policing.
As we highlighted two
weeks ago, the Arizona legislature and Governor's decisions
to pass a punitive, anti-immigrant bill - SB1070
- have unleashed a torrent of condemnations inside and outside of
Arizona. Voices speaking up against the bill have come not only from
civil rights organizations, but have also included public safety
officials, constitutional legal scholars, and, significantly, Republican
leaders and candidates from other states with
significant immigrant populations.
This week, the Arizona Senate passed the nation's most draconian
immigration law - which criminalizes the undocumented and those
accused of assisting them - that many critics say will drive racial
profiling and further undermine Arizona's devastated economy. The bill
now awaits now awaits Governor Jan Brewer's veto or approval.
bring to light the real facts about the costs and real benefits of
immigration, a number of states are proposing commissioned studies on
the economic role and contributions of immigrants, including workforce
participation, business or jobs generated, revitalization of neighborhoods, and
passed in April 2007, creates the Virginia Commission on Immigration to
study, report, and make recommendations to address the costs and benefits
of immigration on the Commonwealth.
Maryland passed HB 1602, establishing a
3-year Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland, including a study of the
demographic profile and impact of immigrants, and the economic and fiscal
impacts of immigration. The Commission's recommendations are due by