Things have been a little quiet around our Washington D.C. office this week. The Senate is out of session until next week, and even though the House is back, they’ve spent most of their time on retreats and planning the next six months before turning their attention to the mid-term elections. We at NumbersUSA used the downtime to begin preparing our website for a busy year.
Congress won’t be the only legislative body getting back to work in the near future. State legislatures across the country will be gearing up for another session, and many of them will face votes on immigration enforcement issues.
We’ve already seen this happen in the Garden State. The New Jersey legislature convened earlier this month for a lame-duck session before a new group of lawmakers and a new governor take over. With Governor-elect Chris Christie strongly opposed to offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens, the legislature tried to pass a bill that would allow illegal aliens to get the discounted tuition rate before Gov. Jon Corzine left office. But their bid came to an end on Monday when leaders saw that they wouldn’t have the necessary votes to pass the bill in the state senate.
New Jersey was just one success on the state level, and we hope for many more in 2010.
States across the country will continue to wrestle with the issues of providing in-state tuition to illegal aliens, requiring businesses to run new hires through E-Verify, and implementing REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses among other things. Indiana began work this week on a new bill that would require state and local government agencies to use E-Verify.
We’ve had a tremendous response from our Indiana members who have helped voice their opinions to their local leaders on E-Verify, and the calls made by members in New Jersey certainly helped put an end to the in-state tuition bill.
On our website, you can find three maps that identify states and their policies on in-state tuition, driver’s licenses, and E-Verify. All three of these maps can be found by clicking on the “Enforcement” link on our tool bar and selecting “State/Local Policies”. The states are color coded based on the strength/weakness of their laws on these issues.
Over the next several weeks and months, we’ll be alerting members in California, Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Hampshire, Nebraska, Texas, and Arizona of state and local initiatives. We need your help now more than ever. A new coalition that includes ACORN, the AFL-CIO, the SEIU, MoveOn.org and others are beginning their mobilization to advance open-border, pro-amnesty policies at the state level. The issue of immigration may not receive daily national attention, but that doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening in your cities, towns and neighborhoods.
So even though things have been a bit quiet since the New Year, we’re about to get pretty noisy over the next few months, and we hope you’re ready to join the fight!
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Website Content Manager for NumbersUSA