Many states passed immigration laws this past year including California, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
The California DREAM ACT does not go into effect until 2013, when it will help an estimated 2500 undocumented college students qualify for waivers, Cal Grants and other aid.
The controversial Alabama immigration law imposed various measures. The one that recently took effect is that beginning January 1st any employer that does business with a government agency must use E-Verify. And beginning April 1st all Alabama employers must use E-Verify. Hopefully more of the bugs have been worked out with E-Verify so authorized people will not be prevented from working. Other parts of the Alabama law, including the part that required schools to check a child’s immigration status was blocked by the 11th Circuit.
Parts of the South Carolina immigration law which was scheduled to take effect on New Year’s Day was also blocked. Thankfully, a federal judge blocked the portion of the law that criminalizes renting a room to an illegal immigrant, or giving them a ride. Apparently the South Carolina legislature expected taxi drivers and hotel clerks to ask for proof of valid immigration status before letting someone get in the cab or renting them a room.