Archived Project

Immigration and the States Project

Immigration and the States Project

Although the federal government has been largely responsible for the admission of immigrants into the country and the enforcement of immigration laws, states and localities have played a critical role in the integration of new arrivals into local communities.

The magnitude, nature, and challenges of immigration have transformed the political and policy landscape, and the roles of the federal government and of the states have evolved in response, spurring cooperation and friction. Pew examined the intersection of federal, state, and local immigration laws and policies and their potential effects on all levels of government.

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Article

Alternative Driver’s Licenses for Unauthorized Immigrants

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Article

States are taking an increasingly active role in immigration-related policy. One issue several have addressed in recent years is whether to issue driver’s licenses to foreign-born residents who are not authorized to be in the United States.

Data Visualization

Immigrant Employment by State and Industry

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Data Visualization

The employment patterns of immigrants differ from those of U.S.-born workers across industries and states. This interactive captures the variation by measuring the employment distribution ratio, which compares the likelihood that an immigrant worker is employed in each of 13 industries with that of an U.S.-born worker in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. In Arizona, for instance, the employment distribution ratio for the administrative services industry is 2.0, meaning that immigrants are twice as likely as U.S.-born individuals to hold a job in this sector.

Report

Immigration and Legalization

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Report

This report will help states and localities prepare for their potential roles in implementing any future federal legalization program for unauthorized immigrants. It reviews previous and ongoing immigration initiatives and identifies four key roles played by state and local governments: outreach, documentation, education and protection of immigrants from fraudulent services. The research also highlights how the growth and geographic dispersion of the unauthorized immigrant population in the United States—which historically has been concentrated in six states and is now spread across the country—means that all states may play a role in implementing a new legalization program.

Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population
Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population
Issue Brief

Changing Patterns in U.S. Immigration and Population

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Issue Brief

This brief examines current population trends among the foreign- and native-born at the county level, and highlights the role that immigrants play in contributing to population growth and slowing population loss.

Our Work

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us immigration trends
Data Visualization

U.S. Immigration: National and State Trends and Actions

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Data Visualization

In the United States, the federal government maintains primary authority over immigrants' admission into and removal from the country. Historically, the states have been largely responsible for the practical aspects of absorbing and integrating immigrants into their communities. But the relationship between the federal government and the states with respect to immigration has become more collaborative, and the states are playing a more active role in creating policies. These developments have resulted in new cooperation and conflicts between the levels of government.