Restrictive State and Local Immigration Laws: Solutions in Search of Problems

American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Issue Brief, November 2012

19 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2012

See all articles by Pratheepan Gulasekaram

Pratheepan Gulasekaram

Santa Clara University School of Law

Karthick Ramakrishnan

University of California, Riverside

Date Written: November 15, 2012

Abstract

In the Issue Brief, the authors demonstrate that conventional understandings of why states and localities pass restrictive immigration laws do not hold up under empirical analysis. Rather, the data from their nationwide study of 50 states and over 25,000 local jurisdictions show that “what most subfederal jurisdictions with immigration enforcement laws share is not economic stress or overconsumption of public goods or heightened violent crime, but rather a partisan composition within their legislative and executive branches that is highly receptive to enforcement heavy proposals.” These laws are not, as some have contended, organic local responses to inaction at the federal level. Rather, they are the outcome of a concerted and coordinated effort by immigration restrictionists to “purposefully promote legislative gridlock at the federal level, and then cite the very national legislative inaction they helped foment to justify restrictive solutions at the local level.”

Keywords: immigration, illegal immigration, federalism, state and local immigration laws, Arizona, SB 1070

Suggested Citation

Gulasekaram, Pratheepan and Ramakrishnan, Karthick, Restrictive State and Local Immigration Laws: Solutions in Search of Problems (November 15, 2012). American Constitution Society for Law and Policy Issue Brief, November 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176374 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2176374

Pratheepan Gulasekaram (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408.554.4188 (Phone)

Karthick Ramakrishnan

University of California, Riverside ( email )

Department of Political Science
Riverside, CA 92521
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.karthick.com

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