2005 August 24 Wednesday
How Much Can State Level Immigration Initiatives Accomplish?

Juan Mann argues state-level immigration reform initiatives are not enough to stop the illegal tide.

In the wake of the hugely-successful Minuteman Project, the California Border Police Initiative currently gathering signatures in the Golden State is shaping up to be yet another shot-heard-round-the-world, 9.9 magnitude earthquake against illegal immigration, the likes of which America has never seen.

But without enacting comprehensive summary removal of illegal aliens and criminal aliens at the federal level, these heroic state efforts will be largely for naught.

The bottom line: any increased boots-on-the-ground immigration enforcement by police officers, immigration agents, the U.S. Border Patrolóor even a citizen Border Protection Corpsóalso desperately needs companion immigration legislation from Congress to see to it that the aliens arrested for immigration violations are actually deported!

If the California Border Police voter referendum gets onto the ballot and then wins passage then that will put more pressure on our disgusting political class in Washington DC to do more real immigration law enforcement and border enforcement. For that reason alone I think that the passage of the initiative will not be for naught. Also, a state police force deployed near the border would stop illegals from entering and the federal policy makers would find it very hard to refuse that police force the power to deport illegals.

If you are a Californian who wants a stop to illegal immigration consider helping the California Border Police initiative group to round up signatures to get the initiative on the California ballot. Or donate some money to them.

State level initiatives in Calfornia and Arizona (the only two of our 4 border states with Mexico that have popular ballot voter initiative processes) could go far toward cutting back on illegal immigration. Ballot initiatives could fund the development of border barriers along California's and Arizona's borders with Mexico.

Mann is right to argue for the removal of legal obstacles to deportation of illegals. His article lists a set of reforms which Congress should enact. Read the full article for the details.

For immigration law enforcement to work, America needs summary deportation, not perpetual immigration litigation in the federal courts.

Contrary to the repeated lies by the Open Borders crowd illegals could be rounded up very quickly and cheaply. As one of my correspondents pointed out "we could build a wall from Tijuana to Brownsville for the cost of one month in Iraq". The bulk of the illegal influx across the Mexican border could be stopped. The highest cost quote I found for the Israeli West Bank barrier is $4.15 million per mile. At that cost level California, which has a 140 mile border with Mexico, could seal off the border for $581 million. Arizona, which has a 370 mile border with Mexico could build a barrier for $1.535 billion. In fact, state legislative representative Russell Pearce is working to put an Arizona-Mexico border barrier on the Arizona ballot for November 2006.

Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, is drafting a measure to ask voters next year to spend the money to erect a climb-proof fence wherever possible from Yuma to east of Douglas.

California needs a similar initiative. Also, for many other states further from the border which have ballot initiative processes ballot initiatives could be used to instruct state police and other state agencies to support the rounding up of illegals for deportation.

Aside: A concrete barrier would not fall victim to wire cutters. Also, a barrier layer should have depth and lots of sensors. Anyone attempting to cross should trigger alarms that would bring border police to catch them before they made it through all the barrier layers.

Pearce sees better border enforcement and an end to the massive illegals presence as a way to save large amounts of money and improve quality of life.

They sneak across the border hoping for a better life, but immediately needing free health care, free education, and free government support if they can get it and usually do get it. A new federal report shows that only four states verify eligibility before you get Medicaid (AHCCCS), a $4 billion program with more folks enrolled in AHCCCS than K through 12.

But those things arenít free. We pay for them. Right here in Arizona the average LEGAL family pays at least an extra $2,000 every year to support illegal aliens and another $2000 in taxes to make up for the $400 billion in unpaid taxes by the underground workforce that don't pay taxes and still use services such as education ($8000 annually per child). And those are just the direct expenses. They donít include the cost of increased crime, city or county enforcement and jail cost, increased car insurance, increased medical/health insurance and other direct, but non-governmental expenses.

Measures to stop the immigration deluge at the state level will make clearer the divide that exists between elite and popular positions on immigration. The elites will find it more difficult to pursue their own interests at the expense of the populace if more states adopt immigration restrictionist policies and follow through with real enforcement.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2005 August 24 01:24 PM  Immigration Politics

John S Bolton said at August 25, 2005 11:03 AM:

State and local enforcement of minimum standards can do quite a lot for preventing the high volumes of illegal immigration , which are being traitorously tolerated today. School districts have found it highly remunerative to hire inspectors who find those who have dropped off their children illegally on a public school. The economic possibility for illegal aliens largely involves finding ways of living lower than the citizenry, since they are not likely to be English speaking or otherwise at the level of the citizen. If they were, what would be the incentive to immigrate, especially illegally? Closing down crowded residences is effective, because otherwise these foreigners have no competitive advantage; they need a much lower rent per person, in order to accept the lower wages which they use to displace those above them. Enforcement of driving without insurance penalties would be efficient in this way. States could hold illegals in prisons or jails longer, not giving them bail or parole, until the federal government starts dealing more efficiently with the problem of having so many deportables running loose. These policies function also as protests against federal dereliction, and possibly very effective ones. The administration can see now that there are organized constituencies of greater weight than the Mexican government, which are interested in the illegal alien question. The Bush family values foreign relations above almost anything else, but maybe they don't want to make Tancredo our next president.

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