State legislatures, grappling with the failure of the federal government to overhaul the immigration laws, considered 1,404 immigration measures this year and enacted 170 of them, an unprecedented surge in state-level lawmaking on the issue, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Spurred by rising resentment in the country over illegal immigration and by the collapse of a broad immigration bill in the Senate in June, state legislators nationwide adopted measures to curb employment of unauthorized immigrants and to make it more difficult for them to obtain state identification documents like driver's licenses, reports the New York Times.
State lawmakers have introduced about two and half times more immigration bills this year than in 2006, and the number that have become law is more than double the 84 bills enacted last year, according to the conference, a nonpartisan organization that includes all the state legislatures. Every state debated immigration issues, and 41 states adopted immigration laws. A large number of new laws cracked down on employers who hire illegal immigrants.