Tough immigration enforcement with no parallel comprehensive immigration reform, will only bring severe negative consequences to everyone!
Citing a November Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, the Manhattan Institute’s Tamar Jacoby noted recently that “63 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of independents favor allowing illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions — registering, being fingerprinted, paying a fine and learning English — to earn citizenship over time.”
The law had worked. Perhaps, so me said, too well.
With the departure of so many people, the local economy suffered. Hair salons, restaurants and corner shops that catered to the immigrants saw business plummet; several closed. Once-boarded-up storefronts downtown were boarded up again.
Arizona’s new “enforcement only” immigration law, which mandates the use of an electronic verification system and subjects employers to the loss of their business license for hiring the wrong person, has turned out to be a disaster that might rank up there with the Edsel or New Coke in the pantheon of bone-headed ideas.
The unintended consequences haven’t been pretty, and now the very lawmakers that thumped their chest about getting tough on illegal immigration are trying to enact some sort of state-level guest worker program in order to bring those undocumented immigrants back to the state.
The state had a very low unemployment rate when the law was passed — it was, at least in part, a “solution” to a problem they didn’t have. Unemployment was at 4.1 percent when the law went into effect in January and had been at 3.7 percent when a judge upheld the measure in early 2007.
Arizona is now faced with labor shortages, and when combined with the loss in demand from all those worker-consumers, the whole enchilada might end up costing the state’s economy tens of billions of dollars.
Prince William County
County business leaders have created “image committees” to examine the direction Prince William is heading. Now, some analysts said, the economic downturn makes it a bad time to carry out the immigration measures.
“It undermines the image of the county as a good place to invest,” said Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. “The political environment has made people feel unwelcome.”
Richard L. Hendershot, who chairs the Prince William County Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce, said it has been hard to sell Prince William as progressive, dynamic and thriving.
Last month, Prince William County had the most new filings of any Washington area jurisdiction, followed by Prince George’s, Fairfax, Montgomery, Loudoun and the District, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a California-based company that tracks real estate trends.
When foreclosures rise, crime often follows, researchers said. A 2005 study by the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Woodstock Institute found that, holding other factors constant, each foreclosure in a 100-house neighborhood corresponded to a 2.4 percent jump in violent crime.
Law enforcement agencies typically don’t keep statistics for crimes that occur in vacant houses, but the concerns of local officials are mirrored across the nation.