ALEC & Immigration

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Access a PDF version of the fact sheet here.

ALEC's Legislative Agenda on Immigrants

Through the American Legislative Exchange Council, on ALEC task forces, corporate lobbyists and special interests vote as equals with elected representatives on templates to change our laws, behind closed doors with no press or public allowed to see the votes or deliberations. ALEC immigration legislation includes proposals that would make it difficult for new immigrants to vote, labels comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship as a way for gang members and terrorists to become U.S. citizens, and would implement new border security laws similar to Arizona's controversial SB 1070.

Targeting Immigrants

  • ALEC's "Voter ID Act" makes it more difficult for American citizens to vote. This model bill disenfranchises many new immigrants, low-income Americans, minorities, college students, and elderly Americans who do not have driver's licenses but have typically used other forms of ID.
  • ALEC's "Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act" requires evidence of U.S. citizenship be presented by every person to register to vote and at the polling place prior to voting. This act targets undocumented immigrants, but requires every voter to show an ID.
  • ALEC's "Fair and Legal Employment Act" requires the use of the E-Verify program and states that an agency cannot issue a license to an individual if the individual does present specific forms of ID, including a driver license issued by the state, a birth certificate, a U.S. passport, a foreign passport with a U.S. via, or a U.S. certification of citizenship.
  • ALEC's "Resolution in Support of the USA PATRIOT Act" expresses support for the Bush administration's controversial PATRIOT Act, which allows for new government surveillance that is often discriminatory towards new immigrants.

Restricting the Path to Citizenship

  • ALEC's "Resolution Against Amnesty" makes a series of inaccurate assertions in its effort to oppose a path to citizenship, which ALEC calls "amnesty." The resolution alleges that "amnesty" would allow "illegal gang-members" and "terrorists" to become citizens.
  • ALEC's "Resolution on Fourteenth Amendment" manufactures the notion that persons who lack legal status, or are out of status, are not subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. and its laws, and that the children of undocumented persons born in the U.S. do not become U.S. citizens. This assertion is contrary to long-standing, traditional interpretation of the Constitution, and is also a morally cruel effort to deprive children of the constitutionally-guaranteed right of U.S. citizenship.

Pushing Harsh New Border Laws

  • The "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act" closely resembles Arizona's controversial SB 1070 law in its effort to mandate local enforcement of federal immigrant law, make it a crime to have illegal immigrants in one's vehicle, make illegal immigration a criminal offense, and require employers to use the E-Verify system. Among the acts problems: it prohibits local governments from deciding how best to allocate law enforcement resources to confront the most pressing public safety threats and interferes with the law enforcement-community relationship.
  • ALEC's "Immigration Law Enforcement Act" is similar to the "No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act" in requiring local governments to enforce federal immigration law and creates a new class of crime for being present on state soil without proof of federal immigration status. By requiring local governments to enforce immigration law, the bill interferes with local law enforcement's ability to decide how best to allocate resources and interferes with law enforcement-community relations.
  • ALEC's "Resolution to Enforce Our Immigration Laws and Secure Our Border" describes an anti-immigrant approach and provides questionable constitutional justifications for its policy resolutions, including localized enforcement of immigration laws. The resolution also advocates that the state-governed National Guard govern the border rather than Federal Border Patrol, Immigration, and Customs Enforcement agents.