In small towns and suburbs across America, growing numbers of local politicians are sending a message to the federal government: If you won’t solve the illegal immigration problem, we will. The Houston Chronicle reports the trend, which started this summer in Hazleton, Pa., has swept across America, with at least 50 local governments considering immigration-related ordinances and roughly a dozen taking action.
But nearly every local law aimed at barring illegal immigrants from working or renting homes has been stalled by a legal challenge. Yet this ”raging fire of ordinances” has the potential to profoundly change immigration law, said Mazaffar Chishti, the director of the Migration Policy Institute at New York University. ”People are dreaming up these things with a sense of hopelessness that the government will help them,” said one immigration reform advocate.