The States of Immigration

By Su, Rick | William and Mary Law Review, March 2013 | Go to article overview

The States of Immigration


Su, Rick, William and Mary Law Review


TABLE OF CONTENTS  INTRODUCTION  I. VENUE-SHIFTING AND THE ROLE OF STATES     A. The Structure of the Federal System     B. The Incentives of Political Actors     C. The Descriptive Limits of Federalism  II. STATES IN IMMIGRATION POLICY MAKING     A. Immigration Policy Making in a Federal System     B. State Employer Sanction Laws and the    Road to IRCA in 1986        1. The State Response        2. The State Impact     C. Proposition 187, Reimbursement Lawsuits, and the    Road to IIRIRA in 1996        1. The State Response        2. The State Impact  III. MODERN DEVELOPMENTS     A. Arizona's S.B. 1070 and State Enforcement    Mandates        1. The Roots of S.B. 1070 and the Rise of State       Enforcement Mandates        2. The Preliminary Impact of State       Enforcement Mandates     B. Sanctuary, In-State Tuition, and the Federal    DREAM Act        1. State and Local Resistance to Federal       Immigration Enforcement        2. Higher Education and Legalization for       Undocumented Students  IV. IMPLICATIONS OF VENUE-SHIFTING     A. Implications for Federalism     B. Implications for Immigration Federalism     C. Implications for Substantive Policy Making  CONCLUSION 

INTRODUCTION

Is federalism in crisis? Looking at the recent controversies over immigration, one might presume that it is. Federalism is ordinarily imagined to require a clear delineation between matters delegated to the federal government and those left to the states. (1) And for more than a century, immigration has been widely recognized as both a national issue and a federal responsibility. (2) Yet in recent years there has been an avalanche of state activity on this issue. Since 2005, states have enacted more than one thousand laws concerning immigration. (3) States like Arizona and Alabama have drawn national attention and controversy by enacting elaborate enforcement schemes that are both comprehensive in scope and at odds with existing federal policies. (4) Through legal challenges, the federal government has sought to defend its policy-making authority and prevent the emergence of a patchwork of state standards. (5) Emboldened by the congressional paralysis over federal immigration reform, however, states are not only more active but they are also more influential. (6) As such, the "free-for-all" in immigration policy making continues. (7)

Alas, the prospect of untangling this jurisdictional knot is remote--not because the legal questions are difficult, but because this kind of jurisdictional jostling is simply how policies in a federal system are made. Seeking specific outcomes, political actors have a strong incentive to draw states into contentious policy disputes, even when there may not appear to be a matter of state concern. This is because state policy making can shift the locus of a policy dispute, reframe the underlying issue, and build support for a particular position. (8) Moreover, it can have this effect even if the resulting laws are never legally implemented or even effectively enforced. It is no wonder that political actors of all kinds--from federal policymakers and national political organizations, to local officials and individual advocates--frequently turn to states to overcome political obstacles that they face. In short, as a matter of political strategy, states are often called upon to shape policy outcomes in ways that may require them to step outside their legal authority as lawmakers or even their institutional competence as regulators. (9)

I call this strategic use of states "venue-shifting," and I argue that it sheds light on the role and influence of states in immigration policy making. Contrary to common perception, state involvement in immigration regulation is hardly unprecedented. States were actively involved in the years before the federal government enacted comprehensive immigration reforms in 1996. The enactment of state laws also surged in the run-up to the reforms of 1986. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The States of Immigration
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.