5/23 – 5/28 – New developments in AZ’s immigration law, but the same old story

29 May

Supreme Court upholds anti-business/anti-immigrant Arizona law that targets employers, Christian Science Monitor, 5/26/11

Whew!  It’s hard these days to keep track of the conflict and contradictions between state and federal immigration policies – states are pushing restrictive legislation that violate federal law, the Obama administration is launching legal battles against state laws while simultaneously mandating participation in Secure Communities and proceeding at snail-pace on reform. Now, the Supreme Court has weighed-in, further complicating the clash between state and federal immigration laws by upholding Arizona’s 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act.  This Act punishes employers – even removes their license — for knowingly hiring undocumented workers.

Let’s get over the preemption power trips and face the facts – there are almost 40 million immigrants in the US, including about 11 million undocumented individuals, who have made the U.S. their home and contribute to US economy, society and culture.

Take Arizona, continuously the site of immigration battles, as an example: the Center for American Progress and the Immigration Policy Center report that immigrants, who make up 15% of the state’s population (half of whom are undocumented), generated $84.6 billion in economic output in 2008 ($42 billion of that come from the undocumented workforce).  As a result, 1.2 million jobs were generated (581,000 jobs were the result of undocumented workers’ output) and immigrants paid $6 billion in taxes in 2008 and the undocumented paid about $2.8 billion.

Immigrants are not the problem.

The problem is that our immigration system is deliberately designed to benefit from the labor and other contributions of immigrants while inflicting individual punishment on the undocumented to maintain a perception of power.  Laws that hurt immigrants may boost poll numbers and may make a man look tough. Ultimately, these laws hurt the nation’s economy and its people.  Scapegoating immigrants is so 1994..and 1924…and 1882…oh, also 1875….

Other news:
CA Assembly votes to allow counties to opt-out of S-COMM, SFGATE, 5/26/11
Amidst opposition to S-COMM from many local districts in California, the state assembly has passed a bill that would require the state to renegotiate its contract with ICE so that countiues could opt-out of the program. Federal response to this bill is uncertain.

Another 10 million to be spent in the twisted game of immigration enforcement, WASHPO, 5/24/11
Further building the deportation industrial complex (DIC), the national electronic fingerprints database may receive an additional 10 million dollars. One can’t help but wonder how much more productive that money would be if spent on health or social programs.

Farm labor: children in the fields, CBS News, 5/22/11
Kid immigrants as young as 12 years old work the fields, up to 10 hours a day. Further discrediting the idea that immigrants are taking jobs from anybody.

67 sueños – Activating the Silent Majority Left Our of Dream Act

The Migration Policy Institute recently reported that 67 percent of undocumented youth and young adults would not qualify for the Dream Act.  A youth media organization has developed a media campaign to give voice to those left out of the dream legislation.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Says An Arizona-Style Law Would Hurt His State

With a restrictive immigration bill pending in the legislature, Gov. Snyder speaks with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and declares that the bill would be detrimental to the state.

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One Response to “5/23 – 5/28 – New developments in AZ’s immigration law, but the same old story”

  1. AKG May 30, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    Great post! Mandy.

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