June 25, 2007

States: Immigration Front Line

The Washington Post reports that anti-illegal immigration legislation has more than doubled this year in state legislatures, and likely will increase even faster throughout 2007. State efforts to control illegal immigration do not get many headlines, but several states have enacted or are considering strong measures to deter illegals from remaining inside state borders, if not national.

What makes the states so anxious to pass such laws? The states have to bear most of the short- to medium-term costs of illegal immigration -- and they have grown tired of waiting for Washington DC to fix the problem. At Heading Right, I review the different efforts and discuss why the states may add their considerable influence in the immigration fight on Capitol Hill this week.


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The Senate is set to vote as early as Tuesday. Bipartisan members can't wait to push the immigration bill through, while opponents will do everything they can to stop the bill. We can't depend on our politicians in Washington, and [Read More]

Comments (10)

Posted by jay | June 25, 2007 7:43 AM

It is also cities and counties. Yet the cities with the most illegals offer "sanctuary" to illegals and most won't even contact the INS when they catch an illegal for another crime.

Posted by bvw | June 25, 2007 8:29 AM

Pretty clear case for repealing the 17th Amendment. The states -- as States -- need to have a say in the Federal Government.

Posted by Labamigo | June 25, 2007 9:21 AM

The city of Farmers Branch, a suburb of Dallas, recently passed by popular vote a referendum restricting the right of a landlord to rent to an illegal alien.

The federal court in Dallas enjoined the law on the basis that the federal government has pre-empted the law on immigration.

Any local or state law which has any real effect on illegal immigration will suffer the same fate.

Posted by gobigred | June 25, 2007 9:40 AM

Since Captain's Quarters is from Minnesota, and generally thinks the illegal ammnesty bill is terrible, why aren't you investigating Senator Coleman's fence sitting on this???? I guess you are ok with it? Don't underestimated Minnesotans...they will find someone else. Coleman isn't that great...they elected Jesse Ventura, don't put it past them to elect Franken or some other no-name democrat to replace him. This fence-sitting and non-representation by our elected officials frosts me. We gave sweat, tears and dug in our pockets for this guy to be elected...It just doesn't matter, though, does it?

Posted by vet66 | June 25, 2007 9:51 AM

The Feds can't continue to have it both ways. They pass legislation that sounds tough but then fail to fund it leaving the financial burden on the states and cities.

It appears the 'fix' is in. Border patrol agents who shoot illegal drug runners in our country are jailed for failing to properly fill out paperwork, and federal courts knock down states that have the temerity to pass legislation demanding their rights.

Both parties are pandering to illegals in an attempt to garner a larger per centage of their vote (12 million +) to avoid the inevitable elections that are so close they have to be recounted.

Who will bear the cost? The U.S. middle class, that is who.

Posted by Daedalus | June 25, 2007 10:03 AM

The biggest problem with these laws is the ACLU which has much greater resources than the local communities. They are able to bring the local community to its knees financially, and many of the laws never see the light of day.

Posted by docjim505 | June 25, 2007 10:18 AM

Cap'n Ed wrote:

State efforts to control illegal immigration do not get many headlines, but several states have enacted or are considering strong measures to deter illegals from remaining inside state borders, if not national.

And those measures will last for about five minutes in a federal court. Some judge will rule them "unconstitutional" and that will be the end of that. LA and El Paso will continue to go bankrupt paying for illegal aliens while some politicians cynically manipulate the issue for electoral advantage.

Why even bother to have local government and state assemblies any more? Let's just chuck the idea of having states and start calling them provinces or something like that. It would be a lot more accurate, don't you think?

Posted by BoWowBoy | June 25, 2007 11:19 AM

I don't think changing states to provinces is exactly the correct transformation.

How bout ........"estado's de seguridad y prosperidad" .......??

Posted by Bill Faith | June 25, 2007 11:43 AM

Here's hoping some of the states are fed up enough to push things all the way to SCOTUS if that's what it takes. I wouldn't be too shocked to see the people of Farmer's Branch do the same thing; they're home to a lot of major businesses that wanted to be near, but not in, Dallas and I suspect they can afford it.

I added a link to my 2006.06.25 "No Illegal Left Behind" Roundup.

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | June 25, 2007 3:12 PM

"What makes the states so anxious to pass such laws?"

Let me ask the obvious, flipped side of the coin, question to coincide with that:

What makes the Federal government so anxious to pass comprehensive "reform"?

It is urgent to the Legislative and the Executive exactly because the states are anxious to pass such laws. State laws by public demand threaten current power structures. This seems to be boiling down to a states' rights issue as this debacle proceeds. The Federal government has been stepping all over the states for decades, yet the states continue to lose authority over seemingly everything. It's a slow, steady march of the expanse of federal, i.e. centralized, government at the expense of states and local governance.

It's quite telling that the desires of legal citizens are being trampled by our governing institutions with citizenship as the source of discontent. Even more interesting is that this is all wrapped into a socioeconomic struggle where indentured servitude of sorts is being welcomed by elites.

Didn't we have a civil war over this not too long ago?

It's now a race. Can the states write and pass laws regulating illegal alien immigration processes before the feds can waive it all away with the amnesty that makes it all moot and thus making any appeal to the Judicial impossible? Why would any conservative and traditional liberal support the federal government on this matter, nevermind the lack of credibility and utter contempt it displays for the voters?