Us Illegal Immigrant
Shared by: beautifulone
F Wisconsin Briefs from the Legislative Reference Bureau Brief 07−6 April 2007 ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION INTRODUCTION criminal enforcement that supports illegal immigration control. While state police may In April 2006, the Pew Hispanic Center investigate criminal activities such as a false in Washington, D.C. estimated that of the 11 identification or alien smuggling rings, fed million foreignborn individuals thought to eral immigration officials will handle civil be living illegally in the United States today, issues involving citizenship and deporta between 75,000 and 115,000 live in Wiscon tion, and do so without any input or assis sin. The federal government is concerned tance from the state. However, this tradi with illegal immigration because it presents tional separation of sovereign powers is potential threats to the country’s domestic slowly eroding as states are granted, and in and economic security. But illegal immigra some cases are taking, more of a role in deal tion also has an immense impact on state and ing with illegal immigration. local governments, involving education, law enforcement, health, and public assis The Illegal Immigration Reform and tance. For the most part, immigration has Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 been under the jurisdiction and control of The Illegal Immigration Reform and the federal government, which has priori Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 tized eliminating unlawful entry at the bor amended the INA to allow the U.S. Attorney ders, especially in the American Southwest. General to enter into agreements with state However, as illegal immigration grows more and local governments to use their own local prevalent across the country, and its effects agents in immigration enforcement within increasingly impact localities far from their local jurisdiction. At that time, there national borders, states are beginning to take were over 500,000 state and local law action. enforcement agents, a number which dwarfed that of the available federal FEDERAL LAW immigration agents. This was the motivat ing factor in approving the act, despite its Congress enacted the McCarranWalter effect of blurring the line between federal Bill of 1952, which combined existing and state immigration enforcement powers. immigration laws scattered throughout the Increases in illegal immigration in the federal statutes and recodified them into the intervening years have made the agree Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), ments that resulted from the act a vital part located in Title 8 of the U.S. Code. The INA of immigration law enforcement efforts. contains both civil and criminal laws that are Because of this, Congress continues to con applied to immigration issues. Tradition sider bills such as the Homeland Security ally, the federal government has reserved Enhancement Act of 2005 and the Clear Law civil enforcement power, such as verifying Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal citizenship and deporting undocumented Act of 2005, which would increase the role of aliens, for itself, while allowing state and state and local governments in immigration local governments some power over the law enforcement. The federal government Prepared by Jason Anderson, Legislative Analyst Reference Desk: (608) 2660341 Web Site: www.legis.state.wi.us/lrb −2 − LRB−07−WB−6 has also sought to involve the states in ment or interior enforcement. Although immigration through administrative means Wisconsin is a border state, its northern bor not related to law enforcement. der with Canada is not seen as a major entry point for illegal immigrants, so enforcement The Real ID Act of 2005 in the state has largely been focused on inte In some cases, the federal government rior issues. Traditionally, the federal govern involves states in less direct immigration ment has focused funding on border enforcement, as with the Real ID Act of 2005. enforcement in the American Southwest, The Real ID Act requires, in part, that a per giving less attention to other issues and son present a federally accepted identifica areas. This has led states with interior tion card in order to do such things as open enforcement problems, like Wisconsin, to a bank account, travel on a plane, or take explore more creative ways to enforce advantage of a variety of government ser immigration law. In addition to Act 126, the vices. The act further requires that the states legislature considered various other mea issue driver’s licenses that comply with Real sures intended to address illegal immigra ID standards, which require more indepth tion during the 2005 legislative session. identification and a citizenship inquiry. None, however, were enacted. Critics have accused the federal govern 2005 Assembly Bill 227 – Legal Services ment of essentially coercing the states into fighting illegal immigration, but not com 2005 Assembly Bill 227 would have pensating them for the expense. States will created new legal requirements and limits have to make changes to their state identifi for notaries public who are not licensed cation, and changes to the application pro attorneys. Specifically, the bill would have cess itself, because state identification will be prohibited a notary from taking actions or less useful if it does not comply with federal making statements that could mislead oth requirements. The claim that the federal ers into thinking he or she is an attorney. government is coercing states into immigra This bill involved immigration issues tion enforcement has been somewhat dimin because of its prohibition on nonEnglish ished, however, as many states have volun advertising, unless the advertisement tarily taken on citizenship issues, includes, in both English and in the language independent of any direction from the fed of the advertisement, that the notary is not eral government. an attorney. The concern is that recent immi In March 2006, the Wisconsin Legisla grants from Spanishspeaking countries ture passed 2005 Assembly Bill 69, which may confuse a notary public for a notario added a proof of permanent legal status publico. A notorio publico is a profession in requirement to the criteria for acquiring a some Spanishspeaking countries, which is Wisconsin driver’s license or identification similar to our notary public, but carries more card. Governor Doyle signed the bill and it legal authority and responsibility, making became 2005 Wisconsin Act 126. When it them more like attorneys than notaries in the became effective on April 1, 2007, Act 126 United States. brought Wisconsin into compliance with the In some southern border states, there requirements of the Real ID Act and offi have been reports of notaries public misrep cially made Wisconsin identification feder resenting their role in the immigration pro ally accepted. cess, providing dubious, unsanctioned legal advice and accepting payment for simple WISCONSIN LEGISLATION tasks from immigrants who assume they have such authority based on their title. In Immigration enforcement typically falls response to such situations, several similar into one of two categories: border enforce bills have been introduced in other states. LRB−07−WB−6 − 3 − The bills are an attempt to protect legal 20072008 biennial budget bill, 2007 Senate immigrants and nonEnglishspeaking citi Bill 40. zens from being victimized, and to discour 2005 Assembly Bill 703 − Employment age relationships between notaries public and immigrants seeking illegal entry into the 2005 Assembly Bill 703 would have United States. created certain penalties against forprofit The bill was introduced in March 2005 enterprises hiring an undocumented alien. but was not reported out of committee. Again, this designation includes both for eign citizens who overstay a visa, and those who immigrate to the United States illegally. 2005 Assembly Bill 576 − Education The penalty for hiring an undocu mented alien would essentially preclude 2005 Assembly Bill 576 would have guilty companies from receiving certain allowed aliens who are not permanent legal government benefits. Specifically, a com residents of the United States to pay resi pany would be denied any income or fran dent, as opposed to higher nonresident, chise tax credits and any property tax tuition or fees at a University of Wisconsin exemptions from the state, would be unable System or Wisconsin Technical College Sys to enter into the most common kinds of pub tem school if they meet certain require lic contracts with state or local governments, ments. Additionally, the Wisconsin Techni and would be ineligible to receive any grants cal College System normally only admits or loans from any local government unit. Wisconsin residents, but the bill would This bill is an example of the kind of interior allow admission of a nonresident if these immigration enforcement that is increas same requirements are met. The bill would ingly found in many states that do not have essentially allow a citizen of any other coun a hightraffic border, but still face problems try to become a Wisconsin resident for the as a result of the immigration that happens purposes of the UW and Wisconsin Techni elsewhere. cal College Systems if they meet the neces The bill was introduced in September sary requirements. 2005 and referred to the Assembly Commit Undocumented aliens who wished to be tee on Labor, where it died. The proposal has treated as Wisconsin residents by the UW or been reintroduced in this session as 2007 As Wisconsin Technical College Systems would sembly Bill 101. have to meet three requirements: 1) be a graduate of a Wisconsin high school or have 2005 Senate Bill 43 – Housing Assistance acquired a general equivalency diploma 2005 Senate Bill 43 would have required (GED) in Wisconsin, 2) have been continu a social security number from an applicant ously present in the state for at least three for any housing or economic development years following his or her first day of attend loan from the Wisconsin Housing and Eco ing a Wisconsin high school, and 3) enroll in nomic Development Authority (WHEDA). a UW or Wisconsin Technical College Sys Requiring a social security number from tem school and provide the school with an those applying for a loan essentially makes affidavit stating that he or she has filed an those without a social security number ineli application for permanent legal residency in gible for assistance from WHEDA. The bill the United States, or will file such an applica would therefore deny WHEDA assistance to tion as soon as he or she is eligible to do so. any undocumented alien, though it would The bill was introduced in July 2005 and do so based on the absence of a social secu referred to the Committee on Colleges and rity number rather than on any inquiry into Universities, where it ultimately died. This an applicant’s citizenship, which is a power proposal has returned as part of the normally reserved for the federal govern −4 − LRB−07−WB−6 ment. Many states have attempted to put able committee recommendation but pressure on undocumented aliens by requir received no further action. ing a social security number as a condition to utilizing popular programs and services. 2005 Senate Bill 567 – Public Assistance These laws also generally deal with matters 2005 Senate Bill 567 would have of state concern, thereby avoiding conflicts required documentary proof of citizenship with the federal government on immigra from any person applying for public assis tion jurisdiction and tradition. tance from the Wisconsin Department of The bill was introduced in February Health and Family Services or the Wisconsin 2005 and referred to the Committee on Department of Workforce Development. Housing and Financial Institutions. It was Public assistance includes lowincome ser withdrawn from that committee two vices such as Wisconsin Works income assis months later and referred to the Committee tance, medical assistance, and food stamps. on Veterans, Homeland Security, Military The measure was introduced in February Affairs, Small Business and Government 2006 and passed the legislature three months Reform, where it was recommended for pas later, in May. sage but died before a full senate vote was This bill was passed by the legislature, taken. but was vetoed by Governor Doyle on May 26, 2006. According to the governor’s veto message, he vetoed the bill because the fed 2005 Senate Bill 715 – Law Enforcement eral Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 already 2005 Senate Bill 715 would have prohib created a similar requirement of documen ited units of local government from passing tary proof of citizenship, which Wisconsin a law or ordinance prohibiting immigration adheres to. This proposal has returned as status inquiries by their own employees. part of the 20072008 biennial budget bill, 2007 Senate Bill 40. Local government in Wisconsin derives its powers from the state constitution and STATE LAWS the legislature; therefore, the legislature is able to impose some limits on what kind of States have adopted various approaches laws cities, villages, towns, and counties can to deal with immigration. pass. As an example, barring any conflict with other laws, a city could pass an ordi Employment − Colorado nance prohibiting its employees from The governor of Colorado signed a inquiring about the citizenship of residents number of immigrationrelated bills on July who seek services, perhaps to avoid deter 31, 2006, including 2006 House Bill 1017, ring immigrants from reporting crimes. Sen which requires that employers verify each ate Bill 715 would have prohibited munici employee’s citizenship within 20 days of palities from being able to pass or enforce an hire, and retain proof of each employee’s ordinance that prohibits inquiring about legal status. Under the law, the state has the immigration status. Although the bill would power to audit employers and assess a fine not grant any civil immigration enforcement of $5,000 against those who show “reckless powers to Wisconsin municipalities, it disregard” in their investigation of would guarantee that no municipality could employees or submission of proof of citizen prohibit the exercise of such a power if it ship. States such as Georgia and Idaho have were ever realized. passed similar laws to give private firms The bill was introduced in April 2006 more responsibility in the enforcement of and referred to the Committee on Judiciary, immigration laws and to reiterate and rein Corrections and Privacy. It received a favor force existing federal laws. LRB−07−WB−6 − 5 − Human Trafficking − Iowa either of those designations, such as undocu mented aliens, can receive only emergency 2006 Iowa Senate Bill 2219 was signed medical services under the law. Other states into law by the governor on April 21, 2006. have proposed such laws, and some have It was comprehensive human trafficking even proposed providing absolutely no legislation that makes human trafficking a health care assistance for undocumented felony under Iowa state law. The State aliens, including emergency care. Department estimates that 18,000 to 20,000 individuals are trafficked into the United Study − North Carolina States each year, in violation of existing fed eral law. The Iowa law defines the different The governor of North Carolina signed acts that constitute human trafficking, 2006 House Bill 1723 on August 16, 2006. makes trafficking a crime under state law, The bill became The Studies Act of 2006, and sets a penalty for violating that state law, and it contains instructions and funding for the creates a Victim’s Compensation Fund. The Legislative Research Commission to begin a law also calls for a study to examine the variety of state sponsored studies. Section effects of human trafficking on its victims in 2.1(e) directs the Commission to study the an effort to combat the circumstances that impact of undocumented aliens on the state make people vulnerable to traffickers. of North Carolina. Under the law, the Com mission may consider illegal immigration’s Voting − Virginia impact on social services, the criminal justice system, and the state’s economy, among Many states are dealing with concerns other topics. This study marks one of the that undocumented aliens are voting in elec first times a state has looked at the wide tions in the United States. The governor of reaching repercussions of illegal immigra Virginia signed 2006 House Bill 170, which tion and how it impacts one state, rather than addresses noncitizens voting in Virginia the country as a whole. elections, on May 18, 2006. The law requires the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Omnibus − Georgia to provide the State Elections Board each month with a list of driver’s license appli In a somewhat novel approach, Georgia cants who are not documented citizens. The chose to deal with illegal immigration State Elections Board is able to cancel the through one wideranging bill. The Georgia voter registration of anyone who appears on Legislature passed 2006 Senate Bill 529 and the Department of Motor Vehicles list as it was signed on April 17, 2006, by the gover undocumented. The State Elections Board nor. The bill addressed a number of illegal must then keep those with undocumented immigrationrelated issues, from human individuals in a separate database for four trafficking to state enforcement of federal years to prevent reregistration as a legal immigration law to state tax and benefit voter. treatment for aliens. The law is known as The Georgia Security and Immigration Health Care − Arizona Compliance Act, and it is an example of how states can address many immigration con The Arizona Legislature passed a bill, cerns with one unified legislative response. signed by the governor on April 24, 2006, Other states are considering using the inter which requires an individual to be a United est in immigration reform to fasttrack their States citizen or a permanent legal resident own omnibus immigration bills to cut down in order to receive any state health care bene on the obstacles and distractions of multiple fits or assistance. Individuals who do not fit bills. −6 − LRB−07−WB−6 Estimated Illegal Immigrant Population, by State, 2005 WA ME MT ND VT OR NH MA MN ID NY SD WI RI MI WY PA CT IA NJ NE OH DE NV IL IN UT WV MD VA CA CO KS MO KY NC TN OK SC AZ AR NM MS AL GA LA TX FL AK HI 300,000-400,000 to 2,500,000-2,750,000 75,000-100,000 to 250,000-300,000 10,000-30,000 to 55,000-85,000 less than 10,000 High Illegal Immigrant Population States Low Illegal Immigrant Population States California – 2,500,0002,750,000 Indiana – 55,00085,000 Texas – 1,400,0001,600,000 Iowa – 55,00085,000 Florida – 800,000950,000 Oklahoma – 50,00075,000 New York – 550,000650,000 New Mexico – 50,00075,000 Arizona – 400,000450,000 Kansas – 40,00070,000 Illinois – 375,000425,000 South Carolina – 35,00075,000 Georgia – 350,000450,000 Missouri – 35,00065,000 New Jersey – 350,000425,000 Nebraska – 35,00055,000 North Carolina – 300,000400,000 Kentucky – 30,00060,000 Medium Illegal Immigrant Population States Alabama – 30,00050,000 Virginia – 250,000300,000 Mississippi – 30,00050,000 Maryland – 225,000275,000 Arkansas – 30,00050,000 Colorado – 225,000275,000 Louisiana – 25,00040,000 Washington – 200,000250,000 Idaho 25,00045,000 Massachusetts – 150,000250,000 Rhode Island – 20,00040,000 Nevada – 150,000200,000 Hawaii – 20,00035,000 Pennsylvania – 125,000175,000 Delaware – 15,00035,000 Oregon – 125,000175,000 New Hampshire – 10,00030,000 Tennessee – 100,000150,000 Very Low Illegal Immigrant Population States Michigan – 100,000150,000 Alaska – Less than 10,000 Ohio – 75,000150,000 Wyoming – Less than 10,000 Wisconsin – 75,000115,000 South Dakota – Less than 10,000 Minnesota – 75,000100,000 Maine – Less than 10,000 Utah – 75,000100,000 Vermont – Less than 10,000 Connecticut – 75,000100,000 North Dakota – Less than 10,000 Montana – Less than 10,000 West Virginia – Less than 10,000 U.S. Total Illegal Immigration Population – 10,700,00011,500,000. Estimates calculated by the Pew Hispanic Center and based on March 2005 Current Population Survey.