Because Illegal Immigration Has Never Been Such an Issue…


 A national lobby, Americans for Legal Immigration, said Wednesday 22 states are now considering versions of the Arizona legislation.

They range from one other border state, Texas, to Mississippi in the deep south, to large northern states like Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Most recently, Colorado and Alabama went forward with legislation, according to the organization.

Activists "have been working hard contacting state lawmakers in every state in America asking them to stand up with Arizona," said William Gheen, president of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

The Arizona law took effect last month but with key provisions thrown out by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, including a requirement for police to check the immigration papers of anyone stopped under "reasonable suspicion" of unlawful status.

More here. Note that "considering" is a long cry from "enacting," but still.

Think of the illegal immigration issue as the "Ground Zero Mosque" issue on the national level. It's a distraction from things that really matter. In the middle of two wars going badly, an economy in the crapper, a government that has shown no restraint when it comes to spending, regulation, or anything else, states are being urged to double down on a policy that will have no material effect on anything.

The Arizona law itself is misguided for at least three reasons: It's constitutionally dubious, it interferes with the basic function of local law enforcement, and it fails to address the reasons why people come here illegally (surprisingly none of the advocates of cracking down on illegals wants to give them the means to come here legally).

If you look at the actual "facts on the ground," as opposed to lurid press accounts of violence in Mexican cities, illegal immigration has never been less of an issue in recent memory. Illegal entries into the country are down from their peak sometime early in the 21st century; immigrant heavy areas have less crime than non-immigrant-heavy areas; throwing a new and more noxious level of regulation on businesses who may be hiring people is not the smart move when unemployment is way up.

But the important thing is we keep people out, especially people who may want to work jobs that no one else does.

A couple of weeks back, I debated the author of the Arizona law, state Sen. Russell Pearce, on Stossel:

Reason on immigration here.