Five governors whose recent state-level work impacts migrants. From left, top: Greg Abbott (Tex), Ron DeSantis (Fl), Kathy Hochul (NY), Janet Mills (Maine), J.B. Pritzker (IL)

Immigration may be a federal issue in the U.S., but the flow of migrants is increasingly being legislated at the state and local levels. Some actions make life more difficult for new immigrants, while others aim to help them settle in and assimilate.

At the national level, Democrats, citing 17% of the workforce are foreign-born and 4% are undocumented, proposed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2023 in May. The policy legislation emphasizes family-based immigration and delivers a roadmap to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants already here.  


Policy makers develop processes that help or hinder new migrants to the U.S.

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J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She is a 2022 Fellow for the Columbia School of Journalism's Age Boom Academy. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.