States Approved Record Number Of Immigration Reform Laws In 2010


States approved record number of immigration reform laws in 2010A total of 346 laws and resolutions related to immigration were approved by State lawmakers in 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

William Gheen, the president and spokesman of Americans for Legal Immigration, told ABC News that the increasing trend of stricter immigration laws will continue over the next several years.

"We are going to pass more immigration enforcement legislation in the states in 2011 than any year prior. And what we don't get done in 2011 we will get done in 2012," Gheen told the news provider.

Although the Democratic-led Federal government has been slow to act on immigration reform, many States have taken matters into their own hands. Following the passage of Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which is considered the toughest anti-immigration law in decades, many other States have followed suit.

Sweeping victories for Republicans in last year's midterm elections have sparked a renewed focus on immigration policies. Gheen told the media outlet that Arizona-style laws have been proposed in approximately 24 other States. In Texas, more than 100 immigration-related bills are pending.

The Pew Hispanic Center reported that about 1.6 million illegal immigrants live in Texas, according to The Associated Press. Although the national total of undocumented residents dropped from 12 million to 11.1 million between 2007 and 2009, the immigrant population increased in Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. 

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