Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Arizona illegals self-deporting

I saw this story in yesterday's Arizona "Repugnant". (No sermons on the name, please, I live here and see this repulsive paper daily. It's nearly as bad as the LA Times.) A report that they have recently concluded shows that in an effort to get ahead of the new employer sanctions law that targets and fines businesses hiring illegal aliens, many illegals are "self-deporting:"

Undocumented immigrants are starting to leave Arizona because of the new employer-sanctions law.

The state's strong economy has been a magnet for illegal immigrants for years. But a growing number are pulling up stakes out of fear they will be jobless come Jan. 1, when the law takes effect. The departures are drawing cheers from immigration hard-liners and alarm from business owners already seeing a drop in sales.

It's impossible to count how many undocumented immigrants have fled because of the new law. But based on interviews with undocumented immigrants, immigrant advocates, community leaders and real-estate agents, at least several hundred have left since Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the bill on July 2. There are an estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona.

Some are moving to other states, where they think they will have an easier time getting jobs. Others are returning to Mexico, selling their effects and putting their houses on the market.

The number departing is expected to mushroom as the Jan. 1 deadline draws closer. After that, the law will require employers to verify the employment eligibility of their workers through a federal database.

"I would say we are losing at least 100 people a day," said Elias Bermudez, founder of Immigrants Without Borders and host of a daily talk-radio program aimed at undocumented immigrants.

Immigration hard-liners say the exodus is a sign the employer-sanctions law is working, even before it becomes official. The law is aimed at shutting off the job magnet by imposing harsh penalties on employers caught knowingly hiring unauthorized workers. Violators face a 10-day suspension of their business license for a first offense and could lose their license for a second offense.

"This is exactly what it is supposed to do. (Illegal immigrants) have no business being here, none," said Rep. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, the main architect of the employer-sanctions law. "Shut off the lights, and the crowd will go home. I hope they will all self-deport."

Bear in mind that Marcie and I live and work here in Arizona. I've lived here since '81, and she's lived here since the day she was born in '86. We've seen the cycle that was created by the lack of enforcement in the '86 law. The problem got worse and worse as time went by. The law that was signed by Governor Napolitano had the right idea, but it is being challenged on constitutional grounds because immigration enforcement lies in the federal government's jurisdiction, not the States. Could it be struck down? There is a distinct possibility that it might, should a case occur that challenges the law, and is appealed through the chain of the courts. Until then, the law stands.

The people being hurt the most by this law will be businesses, especially the sort that has catered to the large Hispanic community in surrounding neighborhoods. One of my favorite places to stop off on the way home from work is a little "mom-and-pop" convenient store to talk politics and sports with the owner and the employees. They work in the middle of a predominantly Hispanic/Mexican area of Mesa, and the owner is worried about his business because of this law.

His customers aren't coming in like they used to. they're not driving up to the store. It's mostly foot traffic throughout the day, and his profits are way off from the previous year. He's the one suffering right now, and so are a lot of the businesses in the area.These are businesses that depend on these people for their paychecks. they're not employing them, so they're not at risk of losing their business licenses, but they are in danger of their business folding.

This new law is a two-edged sword. While it does crackdown on businesses employing illegals, it's also hurting other businesses. In a city like Mesa, that's bad news turned worse because the city is virtually bankrupt already due to mismanagement of funds. The last thing this city needs is the folding of businesses which puts more financial burden on the property owners who are still fighting against the city's continued attempts to raise property taxes.

Don't get me wrong. the hard-core immigration activists that have fought to stem the flow of illegals coming into Arizona have proven their point. Dry up the employment opportunities, and the illegals will move on, either to other states or back home. We're in favor of enforcement. We always have been. Instead of illegals fleeing though, many should be trying to obtain the legal means to stay here. For some, that's seems like too much work, and that's too bad. But to live and work in America requires hard work. You shouldn't have a free ride here to live the American dream.

Publius II


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