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December 22, 2007

State Laws Having an Effect on Illegals

Arizona's new law designed to crack down on the employers of illegal aliens goes into effect on January 1st. It's already having an effect.

"People are calling me telling me about their friend, their cousin, their neighbors — they're moving back to Mexico," said Magdalena Schwartz, an immigrant-rights activist and pastor at a Mesa church. "They don't want to live in fear, in terror."

Martin Herrera, a 40-year-old illegal immigrant and masonry worker who lives in Camp Verde, 70 miles north of Phoenix, said he is planning to return to Mexico as soon as he ties up loose ends after living here for four years.

State Rep. Russell Pearce, the man who authored the new law, says that is exactly the point:

"I'm hoping they will self-deport," Pearce said. "They broke the law. They're criminals."

A similar law went into effect here in Oklahoma in November, which precipitated widespread "illegal flight." On the other hand, agriculture and construction employers are complaining about the labor shortage; increased prices, owing to the cost of enticing new workers, will follow.

Some folks, including State Sen. Harry Coates, are pushing to rescind the law, in part because fewer illegals means fewer sales tax receipts. Coates does not consider that the reduced sales tax collections will be offset by a reduction in the cost of state services.

Will the federal government learn from the states' example?

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 02:27 PM

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