Karthick Ramakrishnan and Allan Colbern: On immigration expansion, go slow and steady, one step at a time

By Karthick Ramakrishnan & Allan Colbern, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette |

Immigration expansion has slowly been worked on over time. When the Dream Act was introduced, it proposed eventual citizenship for about 2 million who were brought to the United States as children. 

California has approved driver’s licenses for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients in 2012, and followed up in 2013 with a law allowing all immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses. The state has taken a similar incremental approach to health policy for immigrants. 

California is not alone in this regard. Other states, including Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, New Jersey, New York and Washington, have passed an array of incremental legislation over the last decade that, taken together, has built up a kind of state citizenship that far exceeds the protections of federal citizenship.