Pennsylvania State Immigration Laws
Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of existing Pennsylvania legislation and rules related to individuals' immigration status. Below you will find information on what, if any, rules Pennsylvania has regarding immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, as well as the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more.
Law Enforcement and Immigration in Pennsylvania
Under a federal program called "Secure Communities," all arrestees are fingerprinted and run through a federal database which checks their criminal record and immigration status.
A Philadelphia executive order prohibits city police from stopping, arresting or detaining someone solely on the basis of perceived immigration status and makes immigration status confidential. Philadelphia also has stated its intention to opt out of the federal Secure Communities program.
Refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules and the requirements for Form I-9.
The city of Hazelton denies permits to businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrants.
Pennsylvania E-Verify Requirements
No requirement to use E-Verify for checking employees' status.
Driver's License/ID Requirements
Social Security card required to obtain a Pennsylvania driver's license or state ID.
Public Benefits Restrictions
Under federal law, illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving most public benefits. However, they are allowed to receive emergency services, health care and other programs that have been deemed "necessary to protect life and safety."
Voting ID Rules
No state-mandated voter identification requirement.
Housing Ordinances and Immigration
The city of Hazelton levies fines against landlords who knowlingly rent housing to illegal aliens.
- Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition - Advocacy group for immigrants, migrant workers and refugees.
- Philadelphia Executive Order No. 8-09 - City order affording protections for immigrants (PDF).
- Know Your Rights - Guide to protecting yourself and your family during immigration raids (PDF, CASA of Maryland and other organizations).