The Center for American Progress (CAP), an organization that advocates amnesty for illegal aliens, has issued a new report entitled “Staying Put but Still in the Shadows: Undocumented Immigrants Remain in the Country Despite Strict Laws” The report is an attempt to downplay the effectiveness of state measures that discourage illegal immigration by surveying a population of Mexican illegal aliens in the Oklahoma City area. The conclusion of the study is that most of these illegal aliens have not left as a result of state legislation enacted in 2007.

This is deliberately misleading because the report fails to mention that the employer sanctions measures that were adopted were enjoined by a court order and have never gone into effect.

The survey concludes that the illegal aliens are reluctant to return to Mexico because they and their children are established, they are unsure whether they could support themselves if they returned to Mexico, and the expense of moving back to Mexico is also a deterrent. The study also throws in a kitchen sink of arguments that restrictive state measures adopted elsewhere have led to fruit rotting in the fields, lost tourist conventions, and high litigation expenses. All of these claims have either been disproved or relate to short-term effects that dissipate as the local economy adjusts to the departure of illegal aliens. Besides, if there were more crops rotting in the field than usual it would suggest that large numbers of illegal aliens are leaving, i.e., exactly what CAP would like you to believe is not the case.

The study irresponsibly generalizes the findings from one unrepresentative homogenous group of illegal aliens living in a limited geographic area. While it is unsurprising that those illegal aliens say they have not lost jobs as a result of the legislation – because it has not been implemented – the report grudgingly notes that as many as a fifth of Arizona’s illegal aliens have left the state, thereby conceding that when such laws are put into effect, they work. FAIR’s Arizona study of state-based legislation that effectively combats illegal immigration is “Recent Demographic Change in Arizona Anatomy of Effective Immigration Reform Legislation.”