DECEMBER 28, 2007
Frustrated lawmakers in every U.S. state expressed serious concern about the lack of federal immigration enforcement and the evidence lies in the unprecedented amount of legislation—designed to curb illegal immigration–introduced in 2007.
Fueling the fire is this week’s year-end projection from the United States Census Bureau that international migration will add one person every 30 seconds to the nation’s population. This will be a key factor in pushing the population to well over 303 million by early 2008, according to the agency.
The absence of federal immigration reform and enforcement has pushed state legislatures across the nation to enact triple the number of immigration-related laws in 2007 over the previous year. The National Conference of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization that serves legislators and their staff, actually published a lengthy report that breaks down what exactly the different states targeted in their new immigration laws.
In all, a total of 1,562 pieces of legislation were introduced in the 50 states in 2007. Of those, 244 became law and numerous measures were legally challenged by groups that advocate for illegal immigrants. Most of the measures introduced (250) targeted driver’s licenses and other forms of official identification for illegal aliens. Employment verification was second with 244 introduced bills and measures dealing with local law enforcement ranked third (165).
The border state of Arizona passed the nation’s strictest law, which will take effect in January, to crack down on those who hire illegal immigrants. Employers will be required to use a federal database to verify Social Security numbers and those caught hiring illegal aliens will have their business licenses suspended.
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