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Laws 2015, 4(4), 729-754;

Immigration Federalism as Ideology: Lessons from the States

Political Science Department, Hunter College, CUNY, 695 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10065, USA
Academic Editor: Ingrid V. Eagly
Received: 14 October 2015 / Revised: 10 November 2015 / Accepted: 14 November 2015 / Published: 25 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Immigration Law and Criminal Justice)
Full-Text   |   PDF [751 KB, uploaded 25 November 2015]   |  


Over the last decade states passed hundreds of immigration bills covering a range of policy areas. This article considers the recent state legislative surge against scholarly treatments of immigration federalism, and identifies the symbolic politics in state lawmaking. The analysis combines a historical treatment of key court decisions that delineated boundaries of state and federal immigration roles with a legislative analysis of over 2200 immigration bills passed between 2006 and 2013, to identify the numerous ways in which national immigration policy shapes state measures. It argues that recent laws must be considered against symbolic federalism which privileges state sovereignty and justifies social policy devolution by advancing frames of intergovernmental conflict, state-level policy pragmatism, and federal ineffectiveness. View Full-Text
Keywords: immigration federalism; state immigration laws; symbolic politics immigration federalism; state immigration laws; symbolic politics

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Newton, L. Immigration Federalism as Ideology: Lessons from the States. Laws 2015, 4, 729-754.

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