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Dec 28,2007
No shortcuts
by The San Diego Union-Tribune

After all the hot air, hostile rhetoric and hand-wringing over illegal immigration, could it be that the solution to this vexing issue can be found in the self-serve aisle?

Will illegal immigrants "self-deport" if jobs are no longer available because employers are hit with harsh fines and other penalties?

We are skeptical of the simplistic notion that illegal immigrants will simply pack up and return to their home countries if it becomes difficult for them to find work. After all, what do these people have to go home to but the same things that repelled them in the first place - poverty, social inequity, government corruption. Immigrants have never been known as the sort of people who throw in the towel at the first sign of adversity. That might go double for illegal immigrants, who may have had to endure even more hardship to get here. And even with periodic crackdowns, won't there always be jobs available, even those that operate under the table?

Having said that, what is happening in Arizona is very significant and worthy of further examination. That state holds the dubious distinction of having the most illegal immigrants as a percentage of the population of any state in the country. And that's because, throughout the 1990s, Arizona was one of the most welcoming in the country as far as illegal immigrants were concerned. Employers hired illegal immigrants to work on farms and construction sites, in hotels and restaurants and all the rest.

Now Arizona voters have set out to make their state more inhospitable to the undocumented by approving a tough employer-sanctions law. Businesses that are found to have knowingly hired illegal workers face penalties, ranging from probation to suspension of their business licenses. A second violation could mean that their license is permanently revoked. Combine that crackdown on employers with aggressive enforcement by police and sheriff deputies at the local level and you can see why economists, immigration lawyers and others agree that some illegal immigrants are packing up and leaving Arizona. Some are going to other states, and others are headed home to Mexico.

So should we chalk that up as vindication for the crowd that touts "attrition by enforcement" as a quick and easy solution to the illegal immigration problem? Not so fast. While some younger and more mobile workers might be voting with their feet, others who are older and have families and deep roots in Arizona may just as likely stay put and take their chances. Besides, leaving the country is one thing, but fleeing to neighboring states doesn't solve anything. It just moves the pieces on the chessboard. Adios Arizona; hola Colorado, Utah or Iowa. There are no shortcuts. Putting an end to illegal immigration requires a comprehensive approach that combines border and workplace enforcement, tamper-proof identification cards, new and expanded avenues for legal immigrants, guest workers and other initiatives. Putting all that together is the job of the federal government. It's not the sort of responsibility that can be pawned off on the very people some Americans want to evict from the country.

Reprinted from The San Diego Union-Tribune – CNS.
1325 times read

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Iowa watch by The San Diego Union-Tribune posted on Dec 07,2007

Escape clause by The San Diego Union-Tribune posted on Apr 13,2007

Did you enjoy this article? Rating: 4.53Rating: 4.53Rating: 4.53Rating: 4.53Rating: 4.53 (total 47 votes)

  • Both of the comments prior to mine here reflect a desire for more laws and more enforcement focusing upon those who have entered our Country illegally. Nothing new with that thinking,in fact it's the same tired old path many in this Country have been clinging to and embracing for a long while. Back in the early 90' when our Government embraced and embarked upon this road of more enforcement as the sole means of their addressing Illegal Immigration the Border Patrol's ranks numbered less than 4,000, with an estimated number of Illegal Aliens who made it safely per year past them at 500,000. Today the Border Patrol's ranks are at or above 20,000 men and guess what? The estimated number of Illegal Aliens safely making it past them is still 500,000! Not surprising no where to be found in either comment,nor in the Border Patrol's scheme of operations is mention of addressing the large scale smuggling organizations that today account for 60 percent of the successful entry's into this Country by those which are being focused on, the Illegal Alien. What those who have commented are suggesting is to continue 'making' criminals out of people who really aren't, and to yet again ignore those which truly are, the Alien Smugglers and two corrupt governments. The answer to Illegal Immigration lies in truth,not in the many falsehoods which our government and that of the Mexican government have filled our minds with. The truth is that few if any Mexicans would be uprooting their families,paying the large amount of smuggling fees which it takes to be able to make a successful entry into the interior of our Country, if a living they could make at home. Both of the governments signed away any chance of that taking place when then enacted what is known as NAFTA. That's the truth, now what do we do about it? Continue on with this nonsense of hiring yet more Border Patrol agents with more guns and bullets? Continue on making criminals out of those simply trying to support a family, by the only means available since thanks to NAFTA they can't grow crops for what they are forced to sell them for? Or do we as two nations of caring, and decent peoples stand up and demand that our governments trash this NAFTA scheme and to start to rebuild both nations? John
  • (Posted on January 1, 2008, 8:01 am John)

  • No one said that enforcing our laws would be the entire solution for a rational and sane immigration policy. However, once again the public has been proven right. In 1986 we said if you give amensty all that will happend is that you will get 10 times the number of illegals waiting for the next one. That's what happened. Recently we made the point if you take away benefits, jobs and housing, illegals will have no option but to self deport. Just with taking away jobs, some are on their way home. If all states were applying the same law, the option to move next door would be cut off. Will some go into the underground economy? Sure. But their options will be severely limited as few employers will risk the penalties for hiring an illegal. ICE will probably have to do sweeps for the violent criminals who won't self deport. What we need is comprehensive immigration reform, NOT AMNESTY, NOT A PATHWAY, NOT LEGALIZATION. Illegals are breaking the law. They must be deported after serving any jail sentence. The policy must change to selecting legal immigrants based on the specific needs of the country with an emphasis on the best and the brightest who add to an economy. Low skilled workers need to be carried for at a generation . (4 generations for Hispanics per Pew study showing it take them that long to start to get their high school diplomas - they have the ability, it appears to be cultural which means they are not assimiliating). American workers must be protected from Corporations shopping for cheap foreign labor and putting our people out of work. Europe has a program to ensure no European is available for the job and the wages paid to the new commers equal a European's wages. A guest worker program must be created without the right to bring family along. There must be penatlies, like 2 years jail time, for staying beyond the visa limit. The jail time must be enforced. There must also be 2 year jail sentence for being in the country illegal or overstaying a visa. It must be enforced. For a second offence it should be 15 years and again must be enforced. The law must change so that anchor babies cannot bring in anyone who has been in the USA illegally or broken US law.
  • (Posted on December 30, 2007, 3:44 pm Bettybb)

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