Streams

Why Arizona Makes Real Immigration Reform Possible

Friday, October 22, 2010 - 11:03 AM

Rodolfo de la Garza

The nation needs a new immigration policy. In a way, pro-immigrant advocates may owe Arizona a vote of thanks. Because of that state’s recent attempt to create new policy on its own, the unexpected positive benefit is that conditions are now favorable to confronting this problem.

This attempt to develop an autonomous immigration policy has led to two major positive outcomes. Most significantly, it resulted in a federal court decision affirming that immigration policy was a federal responsibility beyond the purview of state legislatures. Consequently, whatever reforms are enacted will be the result of Congress fully engaging the issues, and this will surely yield better results than those generated by state and local decision makers who too easily become hostage to parochial hysteria. The second unexpected benefit of Arizona’s effort is that it intensified the public’s opposition to current immigration policy.

Until now, Congress has preferred ignoring what is indisputably a failed policy over trying to amend it because of the fear of the firestorm that any proposed change would likely create. By creating an environment that may make pursuing reform inevitable, Arizona’s anti-immigration initiative has in effect cajoled Congress into developing a new and improved policy to replace our current bankrupt approach.

To achieve a meaningful reform the paramount challenge is developing a legal framework to manage immigration. Virtually all groups including Latinos support finding a way to have immigrant-dependent employers meet their labor force needs while putting an end to the anti-immigrant discrimination and racism that characterize Arizona’s effort. A new body of law that defines how to increase legal immigration while simultaneously reducing the number of unauthorized immigrants would diminish the role traffickers and coyotes, the principal purveyors of border violence, play in facilitating unauthorized immigration. If reform efforts accomplish only this, they will have accomplished a great deal.

New laws must be designed to reduce the human and economic cost of employer raids. Immigrants should not have to falsify documents in order to work, and employers should not have to risk the sudden loss of their employees and the concomitant breakdown in their production. Immigrants also should not have to live with the constant fear of having a member of the family arrested and deported. Legalizing increased immigration, in short, reduces the problems and damage caused by the legal framework that currently governs immigration. As I will explain in my next post, this can be accomplished without increasing the size of the permanent immigrant population and without creating a new guest-worker program that could cause as many problems as it would resolve.

A new legal framework, in my judgment, is essential to the development of new immigration policy. The new framework must be comprehensive and avoid piece-meal solutions. A comprehensive approach will require decision makers to approach immigration policy as an intermestic issues – a problem that simultaneously involves domestic issues in more than one country and affects the relations those countries have with each other. We’re all in this together.

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Comments [8]

Deb from IL

@ Facts,

Jan Brewer will not be doing the deporting, they will just be arresting the illegals and turning them over to ICE. So she does not need more planes, buses, judges, etc. The police will just incorporate asking the illegals status in the process of the call or stop, just as they do now. The jails will process the illegals as any other person arrested and add them to tent city until ICE picks them up. So no more resources are needed. Nice try in trying to get your point across but too bad you are so misinformed.

Oct. 25 2010 06:32 PM
Don from Seattle, WA

I am opposed to immigration "reform" (amnesty). This country is overpopulated, and 21 million Americans are out of work.

Oct. 23 2010 07:38 PM
James E McMullen III from Yuma, AZ

There is no need to reform our immigration policies with the exception of putting tighter limits on the number of immigrant allowed. The laws we have now need to be vigorously enforced to include the removal of all persons who have entered illegally or have stayed beyond beyond the time limits of their visas.

Oct. 23 2010 10:50 AM
Deport Em from New York

Hey Facts...what about the billions spent on illegals who make our ER's their own personal Dr's office or drop anchor babies without paying the bills? What about billions spent to pay for education for kids that can't even speak English? What about the billions the anchor babies get in welfare, housing, food stamps, etc.

They may pay sales tax on items but what about the millions who don't pay any payroll taxes cuz they are being paid under the table?

Give me a break with your "illegals are the greatest" tripe. It is a fact illegals are a net drain on this country of several hundred billion $ a year.

Go drink that Dem Kool-Aid, it tastes good and first but it always comes out as poop in the end (pun intended).

Oct. 22 2010 07:34 PM
A Legal American from America

Mr. Rodolfo de la Garza is dillusional if he thinks SB1070 has helped illegals. Did he miss that 70% of Americans agree with the law and want illegals deported? Has he missed that Senators are now trying to change the anchor baby law so Americans don't get stuck footing the bill for the little illegals? No sir Rodolfo, Americans are against amnesty now more than ever. Obama had his chance to pass CIR. How did that Dream Act go for you?? Oh wait, that failed too.

Obama will now lose his majority in November and CIR will be officially dead.. We don't need immigration reform, just immigration enforcement of our laws. Obama and the Dems have USED the Hispanics to get what they needed and have now been tossed away like garbage with nothing in return. How stupid that the Hispanics would still support him. He scammed them just like he scammed the rest of the country. Illegals are not always seen as the brightest of the bunch and this proves it. You are fools if you believe Obama and the Dems will do anything for you.

The illegals best bet is to self deport to your own country, apply for citizenship legally and wait your turn. If not, Secure Communities is going nationwide in 2 years so anyone arrested will have their fingerprints checked by ICE.

Oct. 22 2010 07:26 PM
Max9010

GIVING FACTS A FIGHTING CHANCE
ANSWERS TO THE TOUGHEST IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS
IMMIGRATION POLICY CENTER
OCTOBER 2010
ABOUT THE IMMIGRATION POLICY CENTER
The Immigration Policy Center, established in 2003, is the policy arm of the American Immigration Council. IPC's mission is to shape a national conversation on immigration and immigrant integration. Through its research and analysis, IPC provides policymakers, the media, and the general public with accurate information about the role of immigrants and immigration policy on U.S. society. IPC reports and materials are widely disseminated and relied upon by press and policymakers. IPC staff regularly serves as experts to leaders on Capitol Hill, opinion-makers, and the media. IPC is a non-partisan organization that neither supports nor opposes any political party or candidate for office. Visit our website at www.immigrationpolicy.org and our blog at www.immigrationimpact.com.

Oct. 22 2010 02:59 PM
Facts from Freedom PA

THE FACTS ARE THAT JAN BREWER AND THE REPUBLICANS ARE DOING THIS TO GET REELECTED, HERE ARE FACTS.

AS THE GOVERNOR SHE CAN ORDER 5000 NATIONAL GUARDS TO THE BORDER. WHY IS SHE NOT DOING THIS??????????????

1, HOW MUCH MONEY $$$$$$$ IS ALLOCATED TO ENFORCE THIS LAW?? NONE.

2, HOW MANY NEW POLICEMEN / WOMEN SHES HIRED TO HOLD AND PROCESS THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS? NONE.

3, HOW MANY NEW IMMIGRATION JUDGES SHES HIRED TO PROCESS THE THOUSANDS OF DEPORTATION CASES?? NONE.

4, HOW MANY NEW JAILS SHES BUILT TO HOLD THE THOUSANDS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS? NONE.

5, HOW MANY BUSES / PLANES SHES BROUGHT TO DEPORT THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF THOSE WHO ARE ORDERED BY THE IMMIGRATION JUDGES TO BE DEPORTED?? NONE.

CAN ANYONE ANSWER THESE FACTS? THE REPUBLICAN STATES ARE TRYING TO MAKE THIS THEIR PLATFORM, THEY WILL LOSE BIGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG TIME.
ALL ARE GODS CHILDREN. NO HUMAN IS ABOVE ANOTHER. ALL ARE CREATED BY ONE ALMIGHTY GOD WHO LOVES ALL HIS CHILDREN.
I AM NOT SAYING DON'T CLOSE THE BORDERS I AM SAYING STOP THE FOOLISH HATE AND IGNORANCE.

Oct. 22 2010 12:07 PM
Facts from Freedom PA

The Undocumented Immigrants pay the exact same amount of taxes like you and me when they buy Things, rent a house, fill up gas, drink a beer or wine, buy appliances, play the states lottery and mega millions . Below are the links to just a few sites that will show you exactly how much tax you or the Undocumented Immigrant pays , so you see they are NOT FREELOADERS, THEY PAY TAXES AND TOLLS Exactly the same as you, Now if you take out 10% from your states /city Budget what will your city/state look like financially ?

Stop your folly thinking , you are wise USE YOUR WISDOM to see the reality. They pay more taxes than you think, Including FEDERAL INCOME TAX using a ITN Number that is given to them by the IRS, Social Security Taxes and State taxes that are withheld form their paychecks automatically.

Taxes, paid by You & the Undocumented are the same in each state check your state : http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/sales.html

GAS Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same. Go to and check out your states tax; http://www.gaspricewatch.com/usgastaxes.asp

Cigarette Taxes paid by you & the Undocumented are the same, check this out in : http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/cigarett.html

Clothing Sales Taxes, are the same paid by you & the Undocumented Immigrant; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sales_taxes_in_the_United_States

City Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented, since he pays rent and the LANDLORD pays the city : http://www.town-usa.com/statetax/statetaxlist.html

Beer Taxes, are the same paid by you or the Undocumented: http://www.taxadmin.org/fta/rate/beer.html

TAX DATA : http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/245.html

Oct. 22 2010 11:58 AM

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