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Wednesday, May 3, 2006
Arizona Legislature Seeks Crackdown on Illegals
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 8:26 am

Via Reuters” Arizona calls for crackdown as immigrants protest:

Lawmakers in Arizona, a fast-growing border state that is the biggest U.S. entry point for illegal immigrants, called for a crackdown on undocumented workers on Monday, as millions nationwide protested to demand new rights and respect for foreign residents.

Republican legislators prepared to introduce potentially one of the toughest state anti-immigrant proposals, a $100 million package that would deploy National Guard troops to the desert border with Mexico and use radar to track anyone trying to sneak across the border.

Increasingly Arizona has been a point of entry for illegal immigrants, which has causes a number of problems along the border. The irony here is that the wave of immigrants moving into AZ is the result of fortification of the California border. And, no doubt, if the Arizona border is fortified, they will start moving through New Mexico…

At any rate, there have been a large number that have used this route:

Arizona recorded more than half of the 1.2 million arrests made last fiscal year along the frontier.

If anyone has seen the Sonoran desert that covers southern Arizona into Mexico, one should have a pretty good idea of exactly how desperate these people are and therefore the massive challenge that exists in curbing the problem.

Of course, it comes down to economics:

The southwestern state has become a mecca for tourists and retirees fleeing harsh winters, and relies heavily on illegal immigrants, especially in the construction and service industries, said Tom Rex, associate director of the Center for Business Research at Arizona State University.

He said the state needs more workers. “In certain industries, we could have even offered higher wages and still would not have been able to fill those jobs,” he said.

The bill includes what is oft considered the Holy Grail on this topic: going after the employers:

The bill being prepared on Monday would include strict sanctions for employers who knowingly hire illegal workers.

This is tougher to accomplish that conventional wisdom holds. While an employer may suspect that a worker is illegal, knowing it something different. If the worker has documentation, it isn’t as if the typical contractor or agribusiness supervisor is going to be expert on documents and be able to spot phonies. And then there are the jobs that don’t require documentation at all-day labor or workers operating as sub-contractors who deal with their own taxes (or, are supposed to do so).

The Reagan amnesty in the 1980s focused heavily on employer sanctions-and all that did was create a massive document-forgery business.

If the employers have plausible deniability in the hiring of illegals, these kinds of rules aren’t as effective as they sound.

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