Senior Director of State Policy Initiatives
The Trump Administration has launched numerous efforts – often wrapped in inflammatory, racist rhetoric — to marginalize immigrants, including community raids and deportations, the separation of children from families at the border, and rules around who may come to and stay in this country that hearken back to white supremacist ideas of who belongs here. But as our new report explains, many states have taken a sharply different approach, adopting pragmatic policies designed to treat all people fairly and give everyone an opportunity to thrive.
This inclusive approach makes sense and holds true to our nation’s often-stated but not always respected ideals. With an inclusive approach, states can produce a more educated workforce, ensure that workers are paid fairly, and help pay for schools and other public services that form a strong foundation for broadly shared prosperity.
For example, they can:
While many states are making progress, some states are following in the Administration’s footsteps, by allowing police to stop and detain — without probable cause — anyone they suspect of being in the country without authorization, or deputizing local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law. These short-sighted policies create fear, reduce trust in law enforcement, and put public safety at risk. They also can generate unwanted legal battles and waste public resources.
To truly live up to our nation’s promise and build equitable, inclusive communities, state policymakers should treat all people with dignity and maximize the contributions of all their residents, regardless of where they were born or their immigration status. That’s the right approach for individuals, communities, and state economies.