On the twenty-first, I did a post about the Arizona Immigration law focusing on what I saw as the practical civil rights issues it presented. Since then, a U.S. District Court judge enjoined enforcement of several portions of the law. Both sides are spinning the ruling, claiming a win. Then this morning I read an article at AJC.com that talked about the economic realities of illegal immigration here in Georgia.
First, what does the judge’s ruling mean? Depending on how you look at it, nothing or a lot. She issued a temporary restraining order against Arizona’s enforcement of several parts of the law, most significantly, the “papers please” part. Now that doesn’t mean that when all is said and done, the plaintiffs will win on the issue; but, it is a pretty good indicator as to how she will rule down the road.
Like it or not, she thinks Federal immigration law trumps state immigration law because of the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause. When the feds decide how something within the enumerated federal powers is going to go, the states can’t do differently. “States rights,” the “will of the people” and that kind of stuff don’t matter. (My condolences to you Ninth and Tenth Amendment fans.)
“Although Judge Bolton’s ruling is not final, it seems likely to halt, at least temporarily, an expanding movement by states to combat illegal immigration by making it a state crime to be an immigrant without legal documents and by imposing new requirements on state and local police officers to enforce immigration law.“
So, we are back to the status quo while the lawyers fight. What does that mean for your average black or brown person? Not much. If you get pulled over, the police can but don’t have to ask for ID. Will the police use racial profiling when they see a black or brown person? Some will. But at least its use isn’t institutionalized.
Still upset about all the illegals? Want to do something about it? That’s easy. Take away their incentive to come in the first place and stay when they get here. Why do they come and stay? Money from jobs. Go after the jobs. It is a violation of law for an illegal to work in the U.S. It is a violation of law for a U.S. person or company to hire an illegal. Enforce the law.
Indeed, that is just what the Obama Administration is doing at a faster clip than the Bush folks did. Step up assessing penalties to the employers. In the current enforcement environment the employer gets a slap on the wrist and hires another illegal to replace the one that ICE carts away. Cart the employer away with the illegals for a while and you will see fewer illegals working in your neighborhood. Don’t like to see corporate execs in handcuffs? Impose fines that make hiring illegals an economically stupid practice.
Or, maybe you want to be economically rational? AJC.com has an article today about the economic effect of illegals in Georgia. You can read the article for yourself, it covers a lot of ground. But here’s a shocker for you. Get rid of all the illegals in the state and there’s a $21.3 billion loss in economic activity (just under 7% of the state’s economy) and a loss of 132,460 jobs. Don’t trust studies by liberal think tanks? Don’t worry, the figures come from Americans for Immigration Reform, a business-sponsored group. Greedy capitalists!
But wait, you’re worried about foreign terrorists, thugs, gang bangers and their ilk, aren’t you. So Dave, you say, we need racial profiling to track them down, admit it!
Well, if you accept the economic reality that immigration helps, not hurts our economy and you regulate it; you can put your time, effort and money into grabbing the bad guys. If a foreigner is attracted to the U.S. for the money a gringo offered job brings, the foreigner is going to be happy to sign up, go to the border crossing showing ID and paperwork and proceed to where the money is. And that’s a nice bottleneck to check to see that the people coming in are indeed upstanding, hard workers seeking their part of the American dream.
Sure, you’re left with the bad guys wading the Rio Grande at two in the morning (along with “you name it” bombers trying to get on planes.) But guess what, you now have some actual grounds for a reasonable suspicion that the river waders are up to no good; and, you can use the resources you’ve saved by regulating foreign workers to catch them and the bombers.
Still don’t like damn foreigners? There’s a Tea Party chapter near you.