Nearly every state in the nation passed at least one immigration law last year, but legislative activity on the issue was actually slower across state capitals than the year before.
Last year, 43 state legislatures and D.C. enacted 171 immigration laws and 117 resolutions. That’s a 7.5 percent decline from 2013, when states passed 185 laws, according to the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures.
The decline in state legislative activity in 2014 can be partly explained by four state legislatures being out of session, according to NCSL. For example, Texas, which passed 101 laws and resolutions in 2013, did not hold a regular session. Montana, North Dakota and Nevada also held no regular session last year, while Maine, North Carolina and Cermont enacted no immigration legislation.
California was the most active state last year. Its 26 laws banned denial of licenses based on immigration status and required that some classes for immigration children teach the importance of civic engagement. The state also passed 28 resolutions, calling on Congress to enact a number of policies.
The largest share of laws, 22 percent, dealt with immigration-related budgeting or appropriating. Another 16 percent dealt with law enforcement, while 15 percent addressed driver’s licensing and other IDs. Thirteen percent dealt with employment and 8 percent each were related to public benefits and health.