Frustrated by congressional inaction and pushed by anger at home, state legislatures across the United States are debating tough new restrictions on illegal immigrants.
For years, states deferred to the federal government on immigration matters, but as illegal immigrants have spread throughout the country and Congress has been unable to pass an immigration reform bill, that has changed. In the first six months of last year, states considered nearly 300 immigration-related bills and passed 36 of them, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Bush and the US Senate are going to continue to put business interests and Hispanic votes ahead of the will of the majorty and the best interests of the nation as a whole. So popular anger will continue to build and states will pass more legislation aimed at illegal aliens.
Cracking down on employers who either willfully or negligently employ undocumented immigrants seems to be gaining favor not only with the federal Department of Homeland Security but with lawmakers in statehouses and Congress. And Georgia is no exception.
Several bills are before the Georgia Legislature this session that would address the issue. In Georgia, an estimated 4 percent of workers are illegal immigrants, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
While officials in Los Angeles predictably decry the move some Orange County California police departments are among the first to train to enforce immigration laws.
The Costa Mesa Police Department and Orange County Sheriff's Department are developing plans for their officers to be trained alongside federal immigration agents so they can understand and help enforce immigration laws.
They are among the first in the nation to seek the training, and their effort has generated both interest from other agencies and protests from immigrants' rights groups.
"Dozens of jurisdictions have reached out to us and asked us for copies of this policy," said Jon Fleischman, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Department. "Like with any instrument that provides a resource to find criminals, departments are looking at this to see if this will help fight crime."
The editors of the Christian Science Monitor argue that state level activity in making immigration policy is a symptom of the unwillingness of the US federal government to enforce immigration laws.
But the bottom line is that the US is a country of laws. Illegal immigration is a large-scale abuse of the law, with social and economic costs. The fact that states considered more than 300 immigration bills last year shows the absolute failure of the federal government to enforce immigration laws.
Only popular anger will force the idiots in Washington DC to crack down. But the anger has to build a lot more before the Senators will listen.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2006 January 24 09:34 PM Immigration Law Enforcement|