Over the past year Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has emerged as perhaps the most outspoken proponent within the Obama administration of a comprehensive immigration reform, one balancing a strong enforcement oriented approach with a clearer, more coherent, “fair and firm” pathway toward legal citizenship.
“Our system must be strong enough to prevent illegal entry and to get criminal aliens off our streets and out of the country,” Secretary Napolitano said in a policy speech in November, “but it must also be smart enough to reward the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit that immigrants have always brought to America—traits that have built our nation.”
According to a DC-based think-tank, when Arizona’s new immigration law goes into effect in three months, residents of a state still struggling with a three-billion dollar deficit will discover that SB1070 comes with an unexpected consequence: a price tag that could run into the tens of billions.
Red State Blues
“At a purely administrative level, Gov. Brewer should take into consideration the potential costs of implementation and defending the state against lawsuits,” concludes the Immigration Policy Center (IPC).
Arizona's controversial new immigration law reflects a sharp political response to long-simmering conflict over immigration policy in a nation that takes pride in its history as a society built with the help of people from many lands.
Wharton faculty say the timing of the legislation is in part a reaction to stress brought on by the economic downturn, even as declining demand for labor has slowed immigration into the United States. While the statute has drawn widespread attention, faculty contend that it is unlikely to spur major change in broader immigration policy, at least in the near term. "It seems odd to me that this issue came up in Arizona now, given that the economy is so flat," says Wharton management professor Peter Cappelli, who suggests that Arizona politicians are looking for a "scapegoat" by "saying there are no jobs because of illegal workers. It's easy to blame immigrants."
But the next target is not kids. It is babies. The next idea is to deny birth certificates to children born here to illegal immigrant parents. It’s not a new idea, but its one that keeps being coughed up by those who haven't found a problem they can't blame on illegal immigrants.
Call them bullies without a clue.
The Immigration Policy Center prepared a fact sheet for those who want to understand this a little better.
Others say the Fremont City Council is right to look at the costs associated with enacting any kind of legislation.
“Good public policy involves weighing all the costs and benefits of enacting legislation," says Mary Giovagnoli of the American Immigration Council's Immigration Policy Center. "While Fremont may be motivated in this case to suspend the law because of the fear of litigation costs, there are numerous other costs to consider," she says, "including the loss of revenue to the town when people leave, stop supporting local businesses and paying taxes, as well as the psychological impact when a town goes down the road of driving people away."
This Practice Advisory outlines arguments to make in response to the government’s arguments that the court should dismiss a mandamus or Administrative Procedure Act case brought to remedy the delayed adjudication of an immigration application.
The Immigration Policy Center, an immigrant-rights organization in Washington, D.C., said in a news release that without data on children with two illegal parents, the report "offers no real clarity."
Whether the change would strip citizenship from one baby or 1 million, it's a mean-spirited plan that wouldn't help the country with its illegal-immigration issues, said Michele Waslin, senior policy analyst with the Immigration Policy Center. Waslin also said calling these children "anchor babies" is both offensive and inaccurate.