Maria Elena Estamilla (left), age 62, and her daughter Esmeralda Triquiz
Data Tool State Immigration Policy Resource
Display Date


Although the federal government regulates immigration, states have wide latitude to develop policies to complement or counter federal laws. This has led to a patchwork of policy contexts that shapes the lives of immigrants and their children across the country. To illustrate this variation, our State Immigration Policy Resource compiles state-level immigrant and immigration policies across three major areas: enforcement, public benefit eligibility, and integration. 

This tool centralizes information from many sources and shows how key state-level policies have changed from 2000 to 2020. It illustrates how state-level innovations spread as more states adopt new approaches and how federal policies lead to nationwide shifts.



This data tool was originally published in May 2017.

In February 2022, we updated the data for the years 2017 through 2020 and added one emergent policy to the enforcement section.

View this project on Github.



This work has been supported by an award from the Russell Sage Foundation and by the Urban Institute, with additional support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. We are grateful to the Foundation and to all our funders, who make it possible for Urban to advance its mission. The views expressed are those of the authors and should not be attributed to the Urban Institute, its trustees, or its funders. Funders do not determine research findings or the insights and recommendations of our experts.

Policy updates for 2017 to 2020 were prepared by Heather Koball and Joseph Stinson at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Bank Street Graduate School of Education and Susi Martinez at Columbia University. We thank them for their partnership. We are very grateful for the policy information and research support provided by Ann Morse of the National Conference of State Legislatures; Tanya Broder and Melissa Keaney at the National Immigration Law Center; and Chenoa Allen at the University of Missouri.


Hamutal Bernstein, Paola Echave, Heather Koball, Joseph Stinson, and Susi Martinez (2022 update)

Julia Gelatt, Hamutal Bernstein, Heather Koball, Charmaine Runes, and Eleanor Pratt (2017 version)

DEVELOPMENT Luis Melgar (2022), Vivian Hou (2017)

EDITING Michael Marazzi and Laura Swanson (2022), Elizabeth Forney and Serena Lei (2017)

DESIGN Christina Baird

Research Areas Immigration
Tags Immigrant access to the safety net Federal, state, and local immigration and integration policy