TESTIFYING IN THE STATES
With states increasingly taking matters into their own hands, using state law to try to control immigration, some legislators are turning to ImmigrationWorks for counsel. In winter 2012, IW president Tamar Jacoby testified before the Kansas, Mississippi and North Carolina legislatures, addressing questions about what lawmakers can learn from other states that have tried to come to grips with immigration and what states can do constructively beyond enforcement alone. Her message: states have a legitimate role to play helping to enforce federal immigration law – but they should be careful about using the enforcement tools at their disposal in a way that drives needed immigrant workers out of the state. Legislatures that have enacted law based on the theory of "attrition through enforcement" have found it to have dire consequences for the economic well-being of their states.