Gone is the appetite for broad “omnibus” bills such as Arizona’s 2011 law that instituted state criminal penalties for illegal immigration. Instead, it’s immigrant-rights groups that are now on the offensive, passing a laws granting in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants in Colorado and driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in Illinois.
“There has been a general reaction by folks to the impact that the Latino vote had in November — that people are thinking twice about the actions they take,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “Most of these pieces of legislation had been supported by Republican legislators, and I think people are thinking twice about whether this is a strategy the party wants to pursue.”
Just two years ago, the momentum was decidedly on the other side.