Join the mama grizzlies who are rearing up tirelessly to swat away false claims that amnesty is a good thing.
Governor Jan set off a heated national legal debate and scored points with her conservative fans by issuing an “executive order” denying Arizona’s 80,000 Dreamers driver licenses and state identification cards, along with a handful of state benefits. That evening, Brewer said her order clarified that there would be no state-funded benefits and “no driver licenses for illegal people.”
Hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children will be able to obtain work permits and be safe from deportation under a new policy announced on Friday by the Obama administration.
In 1986, Reagan supported an immigration reform that gave amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens.
Economists will tell you that immigrants raise wages for the average native-born worker. They’ll tell you that they make things cheaper for us to buy here, and that if we didn’t have immigrants for some of these jobs, the jobs would move to other countries. They’ll tell you that we should allow for much more highly skilled immigration, because that’s about as close to a free lunch as you’re likely to find.
A little-known, but enormously significant, demographic development has been unfolding south of our border. The fertility rate in Mexico—whose emigrants account for a majority of the United States’ undocumented population—has undergone one of the steepest declines in history, from about 6.7 children per woman in 1970 to about 2.1 today, according to World Bank figures. That makes it roughly equal to the U.S. rate and puts it at what demographers call “replacement level,” the point at which women are having just enough babies to sustain the current population. In coming years it’s expected to dip even further. Other countries in Latin America have experienced a similar drop, though not as sharp. All of which means that the ranks of those “invading” hordes are thinning—rapidly.
In addition to Arizona, I’ve also lived in Russia, which requires its citizens to carry documents at all times. Police usually carry out spot checks on darker-skinned people from the Caucasus or the “stans”—people who often go to Russia as illegal migrant workers. These workers are also the targets of racially motivated attacks and killings. Average Russians don’t bat an eye.
We don’t want to head in that direction. The overwhelming majority of Mexicans who come here are not criminals. Most are just desperate for honest work. But clearly something needs to be done about the traffickers who bring them to the U.S. Last year the U.S. marshal for Arizona, David Gonzales, told me he had some 200 active warrants for Mexicans in and around Phoenix engaged in organized crime. Last week he told me he had 324, and even more in Tucson. So what’s the solution? Gonzales favors an approach backed by many other law-enforcement and immigration specialists: the federal government, he says, must step in to make the border more secure and to amend the system so more Mexicans can enter the country legally—without the “help” of criminal cartels.