Immigration Reform Madness: 21 States Join The Arizona Bandwagon
I don’t get it.
As an immigration lawyer in Hemet, where we just went though an excruciating debate over supporting Arizona SB 1070, I wonder why other states want to create potentially explosive social divisions among its citizens.
After expressing my views on the Hemet City Council’s actions as an immigration lawyer, Corona, Lake Elsinore, and Perris residents, many against my position, rose up to let their opinions heard. The public display of something far less than good manners wasn’t very nice to watch.
Reaction created counter-reaction, instigating counter-counter reaction, in a never-ending cycle of insults continuing today.
What Are The Motives Behind Such Political Grandstanding?
According to a recent CNS news report, 21 states are thinking, or have started, following Arizona’s approach. They’re passing their own independent bills to create stricter immigration laws.
And this is after the Obama administration filed a lawsuit against Arizona – and won a preliminary order against parts of the Arizona law.
Since the Arizona case is now for a larger hearing in the fall, it may be these states are making certain assumptions:
- Arizona will win its legal showdown against the Obama administration
- Even if Arizona loses, they feel that their states can create improved versions of the Arizona bill and thus survive any court battles
- Regardless what happens with the Arizona bill, supporting it is good publicity for certain politicians in the 22 states, and with elections in a few months, right or wrong, this is the time to gain additional public support.
Immigration Law Taken Hostage By State Politics
In Alabama, House Republicans said this week they will seek to “push an illegal immigration bill similar to the recently approved Arizona law.” The Alabama law would “create a new criminal trespass statute that allows local law enforcement to arrest illegal immigrants for simply setting foot in Alabama.”
In Florida, proposed legislation against illegal immigration has been modified to address some of the federal judge’s concerns, but it would still allow Florida state police to enforce immigration law.
In Rhode Island, a bill that was introduced late in the session last year, and thus never reached a vote, is expected to be reintroduced in the 2011 session. Since it exactly mirrors the Arizona law, the political plan there is to tweak it to pass legal scrutiny. The Rhode Island law is an effort to codify an existing executive order signed in 2008, which mandated immigration checks on all new state workers and ordered state police to assist federal immigration officials.
In New Jersey, a series of proposals have been made which focus primarily on requiring employers to verify the legality of workers and preventing state benefits from going to illegal aliens.
In Utah, a hybrid approach is being attempted. Via round table discussions with leaders from both sides of the immigration debate, the governor is hoping to include a guest worker plan to meet the state’s employment needs.
The other 16 states are Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Immigrants Deserve Better Than Patchwork Law
In her opinion regarding Arizona SB 1070, U.S. Federal Judge Susan Bolton ruled in favor of the Obama administration’s position that the U.S. should not have a patchwork of 50 different immigration laws.
Immigration law is federal law. A uniform policy of immigration rules and regulations need to exist throughout our nation.
The promise of Lady Liberty stands for more than a crazy quilt of justice.
Having two immigration law offices in Riverside County, this spring, I saw firsthand the immigration divisions throughout Riverside County spread from Hemet, to Perris, Corona, Menifee, Temecula, and Lake Elsinore. It was not a nice reality.
It is simply not in the public’s best interests for our leadership to deliberately spark such hostilities.
I don’t get it.
By Carlos Batara, Immigration Law, Policy, And Politics