State Immigration Policies: Innovation, Cooperation or Conflict?
Brian E. Adams
This article considers the recent expansion of state immigration policy, focusing on how states have chosen to enter a field where federal dominance has been the norm. Using state immigration legislation in 2006 and 2007, we find that states exercise their authority in two ways. First, federal immigration laws often delegate tasks to state and local agencies or are structured to grant options for state participation. Second, states frequently create immigration policy by legislating in areas that are not directly about, but are related to immigration, thereby allowing them to develop de facto immigration policies without overstepping their restricted authority in this sphere. Even though states' activity may be spurred by frustration with the failure of Congress to reform immigration laws, cooperation—not conflict—is the norm. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.
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