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Enacted Immigration Legislation Decreased by 30% in 2020 Compared to 2019

NCSL Media Alert

March 16, 2021

Washington, D.C.—Immigration-related legislation took a hit in 2020 due to the impact of the pandemic, resulting in 127 state-enacted laws compared with 181 in 2019. Lawmakers also adopted 79 resolutions related to immigration.

A new report, “Immigrant Policy Project: Report on State Immigration Laws, 2020,” by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), summarizes state laws and resolutions enacted between January and December 2020 and trends in immigration legislation throughout the year.

During this period, states took innovative approaches to sustaining health care and public benefits during the pandemic and addressed barriers to occupational licenses for foreign-trained professionals.

Other key takeaways from the report include:

  • Twenty-two states enacted 43 laws that appropriated funds.
  • Ten states enacted 14 immigration laws aimed at employment.
  • Nine states enacted 19 immigration laws associated with law enforcement efforts.
  • Four states enacted seven immigration laws connected to education.
  • Sixteen states and the District of Columbia adopted 79 immigration-related resolutions.

The report includes information on the following immigration topics:

  • Budget.
  • Education.
  • Employment.
  • Health.
  • Human trafficking.
  • ID/driver’s licenses.
  • Law enforcement.
  • Public benefits.

Access “Immigrant Policy Project: Report on State Immigration Laws, 2020.”

NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.

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