In recent years, a wave of punitive state and local immigration laws went down to defeat in federal courts on the theory that, immigration policy being a national matter, they were preempted by federal law. Since 2012, there has been a proliferation of pro-immigrant state and local policies, such as measures limiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement officials, and allowing immigrants, regardless of legal status, access to driver’s licenses, in-state college tuition, and professional licensing. Why did states and localities pass anti-immigrant laws in the first place, and what explains this shift to the positive? What are the legal theories and policy arguments being offered to support these efforts?
On Monday, March 24, 2014, join the American Constitution Society and the Center for American Progress for a panel discussion about the potential of immigration federalism to promote pro-immigrant policies, and what the future of state and local action might be, with or without federal comprehensive reform.