Debating Immigration…from Alabama to Obama Strategy

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Last week FAIR’s own Ira Mehlman participated in an online debate by Homeland Security News Wire. Ira’s counterpart was Mary Giovagnoli, Director of the Immigration Policy Center at the American Immigration Council – an open border lobby group. Topics during the online debate ranged from President Obama’s new administrative amnesty enforcement strategy to how to ultimately solve the immigration problem in the U.S. (for which Ms. Giovagnoli provided scant solutions). One of the most interesting exchanges came during a question posed by the moderator concerning the recently passed Alabama immigration enforcement law. Make sure to note that Ms. Giovagnoli provides no statistics to support her argument that the new law will hurt Alabama economically as badly as SB1070 hurt Arizona.

Homeland Security News: In your opinion what is the impact of the sweeping immigration law passed in Alabama? As a follow up, do you see it as indicative of a broader trend among states?

Ira Mehlman: The immigration law passed by Alabama demonstrates two things: 1) Illegal immigration is a controllable phenomenon, and 2) States have the legal ability to protect citizens against the harmful consequences of mass illegal immigration.

For years, advocates for illegal aliens have been arguing that their presence here is an immutable fact. In reality, illegal aliens are extremely rational people who respond to the messages we send. When we make it clear that illegal immigration will be rewarded with jobs and access to public benefits and services they respond rationally and come. When, as Alabama and Arizona have done, we send the message that we intend to enforce our laws illegal aliens again react rationally and leave. Because the federal government refuses to enforce many immigration laws and some state and local governments encourage illegal immigration, illegal aliens leaving Alabama can go to other locations around the country, although some do return to their homelands. If we implemented and enforced policies nationally that made it clear that we are serious about enforcing our immigration laws we could significantly reduce the illegal alien population through attrition.

Alabama’s immigration law has been ruled constitutional by a federal judge and largely upheld by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. This ruling builds on a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upholding an Arizona law requiring all employers to use the E-Verify system to check the eligibility of their workers. In that five to three decision, the Supreme Court ruled that states have a legitimate role to play in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.

As other states grapple with the burdens associated with mass illegal immigration they are likely to look at the beneficial results of Alabama’s law and the Eleventh Circuit’s ruling on the law as a model to emulate. On the other hand, other states, for political reasons, are likely to continue to provide official or de facto sanctuary to illegal aliens. These discrepancies are likely to persist until the federal government begins to do its job.

Mary Giovagnoli: Alabama state legislators behind the punitive new immigration law (HB 56) claim it will solve the state’s economic problems. However it’s more likely to inflict deep economic damage on Alabama’s already struggling state economy as costs to implement and defend the law run into the millions of dollars. Other states like Arizona who have also passed these types of laws have experienced a chilling effect on state businesses that depend heavily on foreign talent and investments, and this will be no different for Alabama. Also, the additional burdens on Alabama’s law enforcement imposed by this law will hamper their effectiveness. Reports show the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has already cut 20 percent or more of its budget this year, eliminating 145 deputy positions.

Alabama schools and administrators will also have to bear the burden of enforcing the new law. The Principal of one elementary school in Alabama reportedly said, “We don’t have the personnel to do all the work that is needed to find out which parents are legal. That’s my biggest concern—putting it off on the schools to police illegal immigration. I don’t think school is the place to do that; we don’t have the resources.”

While five states did pass these types of local laws, twenty states rejected them in 2011. State lawmakers are understandably frustrated by the inaction of immigration and have tried to step in and regulate immigration themselves. However, immigration is currently regulated by the federal government and should remain that way. That being said, there is a way to tackle immigration reform locally that helps your economy, labor force and local communities and there are ways to tackle it that jeopardize local business, institutions, workers and families. In the case of Alabama they have done the later.

Check out the full transcript of this debate here. It is well worth the read.

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Content written by former Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    OBAMA’S TERRORISM:

    OBAMA’S BIT BY BIT AMNESTY – AND FLIP-OFF OF THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHO DO NOT WANT OPEN BORDERS AND NO LEGAL NEED APPLY!
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    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/11/obamas-terrorism-backdoor-amnesty.html
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    DEPT. HOMELAND SECURITY = PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP
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    Different official estimates indicated that three to ten thousand illegal aliens cross the Southern border of the United States each night, transported in with drugs by cartels that have over 135,000 gang members in their smuggling operations according to the Pentagon. More than 1200 people have been murdered by these same cartels in Mexico this year.
    *
    WIKILEAKS EXPOSES OBAMA’S AGENDA OF OPEN BORDERS WITH NARCOMEX

    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-exposed-obamas-la-raza-open.html
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    OBAMA’S LA RAZA SUPREMACY:
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    Feds moving to dismiss some deportation cases
    Critics assail the plan as a bid to create a kind of backdoor ‘amnesty’
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    By SUSAN CARROLL
    Copyright 2010, HOUSTON CHRONICLE
    Aug. 24, 2010, 9:00PM
    The Department of Homeland Security is systematically reviewing thousands of pending immigration cases and moving to dismiss those filed against suspected illegal immigrants who have no serious criminal records, according to several sources familiar with the efforts.
    Culling the immigration court system dockets of noncriminals started in earnest in Houston about a month ago and has stunned local immigration attorneys, who have reported coming to court anticipating clients’ deportations only to learn that the government was dismissing their cases.

  2. avatar

    HERE’S WHAT AMERICA LOOKS LIKE WHEN THE INVADERS ARE REPEALED

    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/07/look-at-america-after-we-drive-mexicans.html
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    MEXICAN VISITOR’S LAMENT
    Tina Griego, journalist for the Denver Rocky Mountain News wrote a column titled, ‘Mexican Visitor’s Lament’ — 10/25/07.
    She interviewed Mexican journalist Evangelina Hernandez while visiting Denver last week. Hernandez said, ‘They (The illegal aliens) pay rent, buy groceries, buy clothes…What Happens to your country’s economy if 20 million people go away?’ That’s a good question – it deserves an answer. Over 80 percent of Americans demand secured borders and illegal migration stopped. But what would happen if all 20 million or more vacated America? The answers may surprise you! In California, if 3.5 million illegal aliens moved back to Mexico, it would leave an extra $10.2 billion to spend on overloaded school systems, bankrupt hospitals and overrun prisons. It would leave highways cleaner, safer and less congested. Everyone could understand one another as English became the dominant language again. In Colorado, 500,000 illegal migrants, plus their 300,000 kids and grand-kids – would move back ‘home’, mostly to Mexico. That would save Coloradans an estimated $2 billion (other experts say $7 billion) annually in taxes that pay for schooling, medical, social-services and incarceration costs. It means 12,000 gang members would vanish out of Denver alone. Colorado would save more than $20 million in prison costs, and the terror that those 7,300 alien criminals set upon local citizens. Denver Officer Don Young and hundreds of Colorado victims would not have suffered death, accidents, rapes and other crimes by illegals. Denver Public Schools would not suffer a 67 percent drop-out/flunk-out rate because of thousands of illegal alien students speaking 41 different languages. At least 200,000 vehicles would vanish from our gridlocked cities in Colorado. Denver ‘s four percent unemployment rate would vanish as our working poor would gain jobs at a living wage. In Florida, 1.5 million illegals would return the Sunshine State back to America, the rule of law, and English. In Chicago, Illinois, 2.1 million illegals would free up hospitals, schools, prisons and highways for a safer, cleaner and more crime-free experience. If 20 million illegal aliens returned ‘home’ the U.S. Economy would return to the rule of law. Employers would hire legal American citizens at a living wage. Everyone would pay their fair share of taxes because they wouldn’t be working off the books. That would result in an additional $401 Billion in IRS income taxes collected annually, and an equal amount for local, state and city coffers.
    No more push ‘1’ for Spanish or ‘2’ for English. No more confusion in American schools that now must contend with over 100 languages that degrade the educational system for American kids. Our overcrowded schools would lose more than two million illegal alien kids at a cost of billions in ESL and free breakfasts and lunches. We would lose 500,000 illegal criminal alien inmates at a cost of more than $1.6 billion annually. That includes 15,000 MS-13 gang members who distribute $130 billion in drugs annually would vacate our country. In cities like L.A., 20,000 members of the ‘ 18th Street Gang’ would vanish from our nation. No more Mexican forgery gangs for ID theft from Americans! No more foreign rapists and child molesters! Losing more than 20 million people would clear up our crowded highways and gridlock. Cleaner air and less drinking and driving American deaths by illegal aliens! America’s economy is drained. Taxpayers are harmed. Employers get rich. Over $80 billion annually wouldn’t return to the aliens’ home countries by cash transfers. Illegal migrants earned half that money untaxed, which further drains America’s economy – which currently suffers an $8.7 trillion debt. At least 400,000 anchor babies would not be born in our country, costing us $109 billion per year per cycle. At least 86 hospitals in California, Georgia and Florida would still be operating instead of being bankrupt out of existence because illegals pay nothing via the EMTOLA Act. Americans wouldn’t suffer thousands of TB and hepatitis cases rampant in our country-brought in by illegals unscreened at our borders. Our cities would see 20 million less people driving, polluting and grid locking our cities. It would also put the ‘progressives’ on the horns of a dilemma; illegal aliens and their family’s cause 11 percent of our greenhouse gases. Over one million of Mexico ‘s poorest citizens now live inside and along our border from Brownsville, Texas to San Diego, California in what the New York Times called, ‘colonias’ or new neighborhoods. Trouble is, those living areas resemble Bombay and Calcutta where grinding poverty, filth, diseases, drugs, crimes, no sanitation and worse. They live without sewage, clean water, streets, electricity, roads or any kind of sanitation. The New York Times reported them to be America’s new ‘ Third World ‘ inside our own country. Within 20 years, at their current growth rate, they expect 20 million residents of those colonias. (I’ve seen them personally in Texas and Arizona; it’s sickening beyond anything you can imagine.) By enforcing our laws, we could repatriate them back to Mexico. We should invite 20 million aliens to go home, fix their own countries and/or make a better life in Mexico. We already invite a million people into our country legally more than all other countries combined annually. We cannot and must not allow anarchy at our borders, more anarchy within our borders and growing lawlessness at every level in our nation. It’s time to stand up for our country, our culture, our civilization and our way of life. Interesting Statistics. Here are 14 reasons illegal aliens should vacate America, and I hope they are forwarded over and over again until they are read so many times that the reader gets sick of reading them: 1. $11 billion to $22 billion dollars are spent each year on welfare to illegal aliens.

  3. avatar

    OBAMA HAS NOW SUED 3 STATE ON BEHALF OF HIS LA RAZA PARTY BASE.

    HOW MANY CITIES NOW FLY THE LA RAZA SUPREMACY FLAG?

    http://mexicanoccupation.blogspot.com/2011/11/sanctuary-cities-la-raza-occupation.html
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    OBAMA’S PROMISE TO HIS LA RAZA PARTY BASE:
    OPTION ONE
    AMNESTY, AND EXPANDED LA RAZA SUPREMACY – There is a reason why his administration is infested with LA RAZA part members!
    OPTION TWO
    CONTINUED NON-ENFORCEMENT
    NO PRESIDENT IN HISTORY HAS SABOTAGED OUR BORDERS MORE AS HE’S SQUANDERED TRILLIONS ON MUSLIM BORDERS.
    THERE IS NOTHING BARACK OBAMA WILL NOT DO FOR THE ILLEGALS’ VOTES!
    VIVA LA RAZA SUPREMACY? OBAMA IS FUNDING IT FROM YOUR WHITE HOUSE WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS!

  4. avatar

    And why dont the states have the resources?, Could it be because we are spending millions upon millions to support people illegally in this country? How ridiculous is that argument? I think the overwhelming majority of Americans, if they know the facts, will agree that soemthing must be done and that they would rather see their tax dollars go to enforcement of our laws rather than spending money on another nations people hand over fist. Their heathcare, welfare, education? Now even college is paid for by us? This is ridiculous. I know illegals in this country who live waaaay better lives than I do. I have lost my job my home, and at almost 50 live with a family member while this person has a child in hospital of her choosing, accepts medicare for the child and we educate him. How many times do we do this each year in Texas. Texans are told no over and over when they lose their jobs by unemployment, in my opinion because largely these groups are run by hispanics,,, while the hispanics both legal and illegal are collecting whatever they want. Its ridiculous. I have a friend who was employed with the same employer for 6 years and then let go. She was turned down for unemployment by a hispanic so called case worker person because her employer said she quit. Why are they in control of our state offices? This is an outrage. She was fired. They also speak to you with such distain. Why is it that we have to walk on eggshells for illegals and anyone who happens to be hispanic but the same is not expected of them? It is clearly out of control. I just pray that in 2012 we get some people in office that see what is happening all over the US. These folks think they are entitled to free stuff while we barely exist. It has to end.