Sunday, January 27, 2008

Illegal Immigration in the news

As mentioned before, Arizona's new illegal immigration law started January 1st. According to early reports, the law seems to be achieving its purpose: illegals are leaving as they get fired or cannot find work and some businesses have raised wages about 30% in order to lure locals. Makes you wonder what measly pay illegals were getting.

Oklahoma has stiffer laws however, as it also makes it a felony to harbor or transport an illegal immigrant. Again many are leaving. In Oklahoma though some are blaming the law for the death of an infant whose parents, scared of deportation, failed to seek medical attention for the infant who had diarrhea for more than 10 days. Hispanic panic caused negligent parenting. I don't mean to sound callous, but the fear of being deported should NEVER be bigger than the love for your child.

Other states are now pursuing similar laws as heartland citizen are fed up with the federal's government lack of enforcement.

The law has had one intended consequence, whose impact is yet to be seen - some legal immigrants are leaving too. Why? Because they have illegal family members.

As the law plays out in Arizona and Oklahoma, illegals go home or move to other states, and both laws get challenged, it would be interesting to see the impact on government services - food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, schools - , private services - hospitals - versus the impact on the economy and the unemployed. With such localized enforcement it should be easy for both sides, pro and con illegal immigration, to measure the true cost or benefit of illegals and serve as a testing ground for immigration overhaul.

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