Professor Cristina Rodríguez, a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a nonpartisan think tank, has coauthored a new report analyzing all immigration-related legislation introduced in the 50 states in 2007. The report is based on an extensive searchable online database constructed by a team of NYU law students supervised by Rodríguez and Muzaffar Chishti, the director of MPI's office at NYU. Over time, the database will grow to include all immigration-related bills introduced between 2001 and 2008.
The database classifies the bills by categories including geographic area, bill status, and whether the legislation in question contracts or expands immigrants' rights. "The trend is clear," said Rodríguez. "At a time when Congress has been unable to pass comprehensive immigration reform, states have become increasingly active on the legislative front and are introducing bills that touch on everything from law enforcement to housing, health care, and immigrant integration policies. This database offers an important window on the contours of the debate taking place in state legislatures across the nation."