Arizona’s New Immigration Laws

By Michael W. Cutler
April 26, 2010

Governor Jan Brewer of the state of Arizona has just signed legislation that, in many ways, mirrors existing federal immigration law. The administration is expressing consternation about the actions taken by legislators and a governor who are clearly at their wits end because of the daily onslaught of illegal aliens running that state's borders and contributing to a level of violence never before witnessed in our country. Today, Phoenix, Arizona has garnered the highly undesirable and worrisome nickname of the “kidnapping and home invasion capitol of the Western Hemisphere.”

Other states may soon follow in Arizona's footsteps and the President and other politicians are offering the false solution to the crisis by claiming that implementing “Comprehensive Immigration Reform would solve the problem.”

In actuality, Comprehensive Immigration Reform would only exacerbate the crisis.

If our nation were to provide unknown millions of illegal aliens with lawful status, they will demand prevailing wages, lawful working conditions and a host of other immediate costly benefits that they were willing to ignore as illegal aliens. The truth is, the oft repeated lie that “illegal aliens do the work American won’t do” should really be “illegal aliens, who are desperate and vulnerable will do work for wages and under conditions that Americans and lawful immigrants would never accept.”

Comprehensive Immigration Reform would simply dump millions of newly legalized workers into a saturated job market, driving down everyone’s wages and create a huge void that would be filled with the next wave of desperate illegal aliens. This is not conjecture; it is history. It is, in fact what happened in the wake of the amnesty of 1986 when 4 million aliens were suddenly provided with lawful status (a number that was 3 to 4 times greater than the 1 million to 1.5 million illegal aliens who we were originally told would qualify for amnesty).

Today the lowest estimate for the number of illegal aliens who would participate in “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” is 12 million illegal aliens. If history repeats itself—and it almost invariably does—then we could easily have 40 to 50 million illegal aliens seeking to participate in Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Meanwhile the borders are extremely porous and USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) is unable, at present, to deal with the onslaught of applications that land on that beleaguered agencies’ adjudicators who without the added burdens of Comprehensive Immigration Reform already process well over 6 million applications for a wide variety of immigration benefits each and every year including the conferring of lawful immigrant status and United States citizenship upon aliens.

A succession of GAO (General Accountability Office) and OIG (Office of Inspector General) reports paint an abysmal picture where the abject lack of integrity to these processes has extraordinary national security ramifications. Adding millions or, perhaps, tens of millions of applications filed by aliens who haven’t a shred of official documentation to attest to their true identities or when, where or how they entered the United States would cause that already overworked, understaffed and generally inept agency (USCIS) to implode—creating a true national security nightmare and creating a cascade of other severe challenges for our nation that is already reeling from the economic crisis along with many other challenges created by our nation’s long standing failures to secure the borders and create an immigration system that has real integrity.

Governor Brewer and the state legislators of Arizona are just attempting to address the appalling lack of leadership and honesty exhibited by the politicians in Washington.

Michael Cutler is a Senior Writing Fellow for the Santa Barbara-based organization, Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS | capsweb.org and a retired Senior Special Agent of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service who, in his 30 year career, rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch of the New York office of the INS. He has testified at numerous Congressional hearings in both houses of Congress on the nexus between immigration and national security and is often invited to speak about immigration related issues on many television and radio programs.
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