Immigration Laws and Current State Immigration Legislation

4/1/2018

Computer keyboard with blue search key.The National Conference of State Legislatures tracks and summarizes enacted laws and adopted resolutions related to immigration and immigrants in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

You can search legislation for each year from 2008 to 2017 by topic, state, keyword, year, status (adopted/enacted), bill number, or primary sponsor. 

Bills may appear twice in carry over states.  In these states, please check the last date of action to ensure the status of the bill reflects the appropriate year.

Searchable Database

For faster performance, please use the fields below to filter your results. If nothing is picked, the default search is to include all topics and states in current session year. The full text of bills is available by clicking on the bill number. This feature is available for bills from 2015 and later.

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Immigration Database Topics

Budget

These laws typically appropriate funds for refugee services, migrant health, naturalization services, education and English as a Second Language programs, or law enforcement.

Education

These laws usually pertain to immigration and residency requirements for access to higher education, in-state tuition, or financial assistance at educational institutions. Some laws address enhanced learning for refugees or English learners. Fourteen states—Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin—now use the federal naturalization exam for high school civics curricula and/or testing requirements.

Employment

These laws address eligibility for unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, work authorization and E-Verify, and employer retaliation.

Health

These laws typically pertain to eligibility requirements for Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program, language access, and eligibility criteria for licenses within the health profession.

Human Trafficking

These laws provide benefits and protections to victims of human trafficking and address penalties for traffickers.

ID/Driver's Licenses and Other Licenses

In addition to providing for the eligibility of state-issued identification cards and driver’s licenses, these laws address a range of topics including professional licenses, firearm permits, hunting and recreational permits, and documentation requirements for driver’s license applications.

Law Enforcement

These laws typically pertain to the enforcement of immigration laws, but also include regulations pertaining to those working as notary publics and immigration consultants.

Miscellaneous

This category typically includes immigration-related issues that do not fit in other categories and are addressed infrequently, such memberships on task forces and commissions, and studies.

Public Benefits

These laws address social service programs that affect all people covered by the programs—immigrants and non-immigrants alike—and laws that ensure benefits are granted only to eligible immigrants.

Voting

These laws typically clarify voter registration requirements and valid documents to prove U.S. citizenship. Some address foreign contributions to elections.

Resolutions

Resolutions typically commend citizens, immigrants, and immigrant-serving organizations for their contributions, recognize the cultural heritage of immigrants in a state, and urge Congress or the president of the United States to take certain actions.