Regulating Immigration at the State Level: Highlights from the Database of 2007 State Immigration Legislation and the Methodology
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI), in conjunction with a research team at the New York University (NYU) School of Law, is cataloguing legislation introduced and/or enacted by state legislatures to regulate immigrants and immigration.
In an era of record levels of immigration to the United States, our online, searchable database offers a fine-grained picture of state legislative activity, which has accelerated rapidly in recent years. Our aim is to provide information that will enable the public, policymakers, researchers, and others to better understand which immigration-related matters are of greatest concern to legislators; which types of bills have the highest or lowest passage rate; and the level of state activity that contracts the rights of immigrants versus protecting and expanding those rights.
We classify legislation in two distinct ways: by subject area and according to a legislative typology developed by MPI/NYU. The first approach classifies measures by general subject categories, such as education, housing, or employment. The second classification system categorizes legislation on the basis of whether bills contract or expand immigrants’ rights, regulate employment, or address enforcement.
The database focuses first on 2007 and will later expand to include all immigration-related state legislation introduced since 2001, as well as for 2008. Additional data will be added in the coming months.
In Section 1 of this report, we provide an analysis of all immigration legislation proposed in 2007. In Section 2, we describe the methodology by which we found and categorized the bills contained in our database.