State lawmakers are shifting their priorities from immigration to other problems such as balancing their budgets and redistricting. Pending litigation of individual state laws are also putting new state immigration laws on hold while legislators wait for courts to decide states have the authority to enforce immigration.
Study released by the National Conference of State Legislators showed that 41 states introduced 114 bills and 92 resolutions which relate to immigrants and refugees, in the first half of 2012, a 20 percent decline over the same period in 2011.
In 2010, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer passed the country’s toughest state immigration law, S.B. 1070, which was largely blocked in federal court, and other states soon followed suit.
Last year, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah passed laws with the intention to crackdown in illegal immigration, but many of these laws are being blocked in federal court.
According to Reuters, the report stated, “Legislators found that state budget gaps and redistricting maps took priority, consuming much of the legislative calendar,” adding “Perhaps more significant, state lawmakers cited pending litigation on state’s authority to enforce immigration laws as further reason to postpone action.”
Though immigration is still an issue for states, they are reluctant to pursue any new laws because of the federal court challenges.
For immigrants, all the new state laws can be confusing. When they are concerned about how the state laws affect them they can reach out to an immigration attorney who can explain these laws to them.