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Immigration Local and State Report: California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Connecticut

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Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have emerged as the winners of the New Hampshire primaries. Despite Donald Trump pulling the entire Republican field to the right on immigration, only 1 in 7 Republican voters rated it as their top issue. And as the attention of presidential candidates shifts to South Carolina, there are plenty of noteworthy local and state immigration developments to keep up with.

SANCTUARY CITIES: Fox News Latino reports how legislation seeking to ban so-called sanctuary cities is currently being considered in about a dozen state, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

CALIFORNIA: Thanks to Assembly Bill 60, over 600,000 undocumented immigrants have been able to obtain a driver’s license in California. Applications have exceeded expectations since the bill’s implementation a year ago. Currently, 12 states and Washington, D.C. currently allow undocumented immigrants to legally drive on our roads. In terms of sheer numbers, California ranks far above all.

FLORIDA: An anti-immigrant proposal in the Florida Legislature seems to have hit a roadblock. The Tampa Tribune writes that HB 675 has hit a “dead end,” while the Tampa Bay Times reports the measure as “dead.” Both sources cite that Senator Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami Republican, has pledged to not hear the measure in committee. “None of the immigration bills are going to be heard,” he said. But Francesca Menes from the Florida Immigrant Coalition reminds advocates “it’s a good sign, but anything could happen.”

GEORGIA: In an attempt to shame undocumented immigrants, a state legislator is trying to add the words “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT” to driver’s license obtained by DACA beneficiaries. Republican Senator Josh McKoon has proposed a bill that would prohibit undocumented immigrants from obtaining driver’s licenses, and instead replace them with driving privilege cards that would cannot be used for identification purposes. McKoon calls it a “compromise” from his previous attempt to outright deny driver’s licenses to DACA beneficiaries.

TEXAS: A federal judge has slapped down — yet again — Texas’s latest attempt to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees to the state. US District Court Judge David Godbey ruled state officials ultimately failed to prove these families would cause “irreparable injury” to Texas. Separately, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services is seeking to create a “child care licensing category at two family [immigration] detention centers.”

CONNECTICUT: After securing in-state tuition at state colleges and universities last yeast, undocumented students across Connecticut are now asking the state legislature to grant them institutional aid. Earlier today, Senate President Pro-tempore Martin Looney called the measure “an investment in our future” and went on to say that Connecticut “would not just benefit these students, but would benefit all of us.”

Did we miss something? Contact us if there are local immigration updates in your state.