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The Texas Blue
Advancing Progressive Ideas

State Immigration Policies: Utopians v. Realists

A number of states are no longer waiting for the federal government to resolve the many issues stemming from illegal immigration. States are deciding to strike out on their own resulting in 182 bills becoming law in 43 states. The Washington Post reports this is cause for concern since many states’ laws are divergent in approach and could create obstacles for adoption of a national law. I, on the other hand, view this more an opportunity for a learning experience.

Various state attempts at immigration policy fall into two distinct categories. They are the utopians and the realists. Oklahoma is a great example of the utopian approach. Oklahoma passed a package of immigration laws essentially making it a crime to do anything but look at an illegal immigrant. The laws ban transporting, feeding, clothing, or hiring illegal immigrants. Employers are forced to verify legal status of employees and are penalized for hiring illegal workers. Oklahoma State Home Builders Association is already voicing concerns over labor shortages and projected job slow downs. Hispanic business groups are already claiming a mass exodus from the state of approximately 25,000 since the laws were passed. Oklahoma will be a great example of the consequences related to one-dimensional solutions. Can Oklahoma afford to lose this population? We shall soon find out.

While states like Oklahoma take the utopian approach, states such as New York and Illinois represent the realists by deciding to approach illegal immigrants in a practical and realistic manor. New York is issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented illegal immigrants so they may better track traffic violations and other offenses. What a novel idea: issuing documents to the 1 million undocumented so you may keep track of what’s going on in your state.

In addition to New York, Illinois decided to ban using the Department of Homeland Security’s database for checking the legal status of employees. The ban was in response to concern over the accuracy of the database. The current accuracy rate is falling anywhere between 80 and 95 percent. Illinois says it will not lift the ban until it is shown the database is at least 99 percent accurate.

The utopian and realist approaches various states are presently taking are likely to provide the country some insight into what works and what doesn’t. What initially looks to be hindering efforts toward a unified national approach could actually provide some clear direction. Hopefully some utopians in Congress awaken to reality after states taking the utopian approach fail to solve their problems once and for all.

OK is Right, NY is Wrong

I'll tell you how to improve Homeland Security's data base - simply use it. If you're notified your name and social security number (SSN) can't be verified, simply fix the problem. Send them a copy of your marriage license to explain why your last name changed. Furnish a copy of your birth certificate if necessary.

Those that can't verify their number are given time to correct the mistake. However, if you are using a false or duplicate SSN, you should be fired from your job and sent home.

OK is on the right track, forcing employers to verify all SSNs.

The federal govt. should demand ALL employers verify ALL SSNs. The SAVE ACt does just that. Contact your elected reps. and ask them to so-sponsor the SAVE Act.

Improved Federal Immigration Policy:

Supporters of the SAVE Act include:

More than 100 Republican and Democrat co-sponsors, including nearly all of the hard-line Republican opponents of illegal immigration and 15 Democratic House committee chairmen. Click here to view the full list of co-sponsors.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), which represents more than 600,000 small businesses in every state. NFIB endorsement said that H.R. 4088 strikes a "fair balance between increased enforcement and limiting regulatory burdens placed on small businesses."

The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), which represents more than 725,000 American workers. IBEW endorsed the H.R. 4088 because it focuses on denying "entry of all unauthorized immigrants into the United States by securing its border to the maximum extent possible without compromising constitutionally guaranteed personal and civil liberties." The IBEW went on to say that "mass unregulated immigration into the United States creates unfair wages competition, which is detrimental to the best interests of U.S. citizens and legal residents..."

The National Association of Police Organizations, which represents more than 2,000 police unions and associations, 238,000 sworn law enforcement officers, 11,000 retired officers and more than 100,000 citizens who share a common dedication to fair and effective crime control and law enforcement

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