Group Created with Sketch.

States take their own steps for—and against—immigrants.

Since President Trump took office, 42 states and the District of Columbia have passed a total of 133 new laws regarding immigrants and refugees within their borders.Reid Wilson, “Trump Spurs Wave of State Immigration Laws,” The Hill, August 8, 2017. Some states used the 2016 election as an opportunity to pass their own harsh immigration enforcement laws, while others acted to limit their cooperation with federal immigration authorities or otherwise support immigrants.

In Texas, for example, Governor Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law in May 2017, which—if it survives legal challenges—would force localities to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and punish those that do not.Texas SB 4 (2017); and San Antonio v. Texas, 5:17-cv-489 (W.D. Tex. 2017). A number of localities, including Austin and El Cenizo, also filed suit against the state in a similar timeframe; these cases have since been consolidated. See Immigrant Legal Resource Center, The Lawsuits Against SB 4, The Texas Bill Signed To Terrorize Immigrants (San Francisco: Immigrant Legal Resource Center, 2017); and Julián Aguilar, “Texas Back in Federal Court over Anti-“Sanctuary Cities” Law,” Texas Tribune, November 7, 2017. Pending the outcome of challenges to SB 4, a federal appeals court has allowed parts of the law to go into effect while blocking others.Aguilar, “Texas Back in Federal Court” (2017). In California, in contrast, SB 54—which was signed in 2017 and went into effect January 1, 2018—limits local law enforcement cooperation with ICE.California SB 54 (2017).