Immigration

Immigrants May Be Able to Stay, But Life Won't Get Easier For Them in Arizona

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Arizona driver's license
State of Arizona

President Obama may have announced what's essentially a temporary amnesty (yes, it is amnesty, and that's OK) for many illegal immigrants in the United States, but while that will make their lives easier with regard to federal authorities, state officials still have plenty of ways of making people's lives difficult. For one, Governor-Elect Doug Ducey, of Arizona, says "this unilateral executive action without working with Congress is the wrong approach." His comments Governor Jan Brewer's condemnation of "brazen, unilateral action" (both are Republicans). And that's a strong indication that Ducey will continue Brewer's policy of denying illegal immigrants the pieces of state-issued ID that we need to do so any things in the modern security state.

In 2012, Brewer responded to the Obama administration's deferred action plan on immigrants who arrived illegally as children, by issuing an executive order to bar them access to any "taxpayer-funded public benefits and state identification, including a driver's license." The federal government has made clear that public schools are not among the "taxpayer-funded public benefits" that can be put off-limits to immigrants. But given the all-purpose show-your-papers role that driver's licenses and other state ID have taken on, that's hassle enough.

It's also petty.

Nativists often argue that illegal immigrants are a net economic drain on the United States, even though they pay billions in taxes for federal benefits, including Social Security, they don't receive. Illegal immigrants may in fact receive more in state and local benefits than they pay in taxes, according to CBO reckoning. But the biggest cost is education, from which, once again, they can't be excluded. By contrast, driver's licenses and state identification cards are paid for by fees.

The only reason to deny driver's licenses to illegal immigrants subject to amnesty is to make their lives more difficult. And life becomes more difficult because it's a growing challenge, especially post-9/11, for anybody to go through life without a piece of plastic issued by the goverment (or at least purporting to be) attesting that they are who they say they are. A 2004 report from the National Law Center on the problems faced by the homeless noted:

Even before the events of September 11, 2001, people needed identification to drive, obtain legal employment, open a bank account, board an airplane, enter certain government buildings, and access many social services. After September 11, 2001, the fear of terrorism has added a new sense of urgency to the government's effort to identify those who operate within its borders.

The end result of such petty bureaucratic end runs is that many immigrants may get a pass from the federal goverment, but state officials can still confine them to a sort of legal purgatory.

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  1. A measure to give illegals drivers’ licenses failed in Oregon by a big margin this year. It is not just Arizona or even just red states where this kind of thing is not popular. Even good liberal white people in places like Oregon are not fond of it.

  2. The only reason to deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants subject to amnesty is to make their lives more difficult.

    There are very few things the state does that aren’t designed to drive (pun!) people in one direction or another. This action just has the added benefit of probably being approved by the base bloc of voters.

  3. I’ve been pretty silent on this obama/immigration thing. I think it’s complex, but isn’t Obama essentially saying “fuck you” to an entire government agency, that being the INS?

    This could come in handy for the next libertarian president.

    1. Isn’t that really the only thing Obama’s been saying to everyone for the last couple years? I’m thinking we can just expect more of the same for the next couple years, too.

      1. Isn’t that really the only thing Obama’s been saying to everyone for the last couple years?

        What, that someone else might abuse the broad use of his powers in ways with which he doesn’t agree?

        1. I was specifically referring to him saying “fuck you” to INS, but I guess my statement works on a couple levels.

          1. It’d be nice if he said “fuck you, no more rules enforcement” to the EPA and the IRS too.

  4. This could come in handy for the next libertarian a more totalitarian president.

    1. From the estemed IowahawK:

      LOL at all those Latin American immigrants who came here to escape tinpot dictatorships.

      1. I haz a man crush on Iowahawk

        1. ^^THIS^^

    2. A more totalitarian president than Obama?

  5. The only reason to deny driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants subject to amnesty is to make their lives more difficult.

    Well, they are illegal immigrants, after all. Why should the states feel any obligation to make their lives easier, seeing as they are breaking the law and all?

    The dynamic on display here is a critical part of the Total State that we are stumbling into. Its much easier to pass laws and keep them on the books if significant constituencies believe they don’t have to worry about the law being enforced against them.

    Case in point: enforcement of the WOD is focused disproportionately on minorities and other lower socio-economic classes. If it were being applied with the same ferocity on middle and upper class whites, those laws would be off the books by now.

    At some point, you have to realize that the temporary and conditional liberty allowed by prosecutorial discretion (exercised, for now, in a way you like) comes at a very definite and high price.

    1. Case in point: enforcement of the WOD is focused disproportionately on minorities and other lower socio-economic classes. If it were being applied with the same ferocity on middle and upper class whites, those laws would be off the books by now.

      You do not know that and I doubt it. It’s hilarious how you think that the Total State means total enforcement of heinous laws.

      1. The Total State means all aspects of your life are subject to control by the State. Its a lot easier to get to if you pass laws that, as written, apply to everyone, but wink and nod that it will be applied selectively only to Those People.

        Whether it is actively engaged in targeting you is a separate issue. If you doubt that an incarceration rate for middle and upper class whites comparable to that for blacks would not generate a backlash against the WOD, well, we just disagree on that.

        1. The arbitrarily applied law is the most powerful law.

  6. I would do Samantha Jane Sample.

  7. “people needed identification to drive, obtain legal employment, open a bank account, board an airplane, enter certain government buildings, and access many social services…”

    But not to vote!

  8. Obama is still President for 2 more years – life won’t be getting easier for any of us.

  9. From that CBO report:

    One study conducted by analysts at the Urban Institute
    found that in 1998, unauthorized immigrants in New
    York State paid an average of 15 percent of their income
    in federal, state, and local taxes.

    In my school district per pupil spending is $12,000 year. So if one illegal immigrant earns $80,000 a year and has just one kid in school, and they get no other benefits, then we break even.

    Of course he’s not earning that much, and he’s got more than one kid, and you have to add in the $40,000 that Medicaid paid for his pregnant wife.

    Now sure we’ve got plenty of native-born poor people who are net drains, but no reason why we have to import more.

  10. But I thought all these illegals were invited here by their employers? Certainly they would be willing to give their guests rides? Right?

  11. So, this episode has been in my head for a few days now.

    I got me a pressure washer. I was gonna start a business, meatwad pressure washin, they said “You gots to have a license.” I said “License? Hell I ain’t even supposed to be in this country.” Then they got all mad.

  12. Every illegal alien child is entitled to a public school education and the average cost of this education is $10,500 per year (2012 figures). An illegal alien child enrolled in first grade will cost the taxpayer $126,000 to graduate from high school.

    Illegals are not paying for property taxes to the same extent that they are consuming public school funds.

    Basic math: Each child costs the public school $10,500 per year.

    If you assume that 30% of the cost of rent goes to indirectly pay property tax, each illegal alien parent will have to pay out $35,000 in annual rent to break even with the taxpayer. I can assure you that this is not happening.

  13. You cannot have open borders and a welfare state at the same time:

    Pew Research Center: Hispanic Politics, Values, Religion

    Support for a larger government is greatest among immigrant Latinos. More than eight-in-ten (81%) say they would rather have a bigger government with more services than a smaller government with fewer services.

  14. AZ is just treating them in the same manner that Mexico treats immigrants, with the exception that AZ is not forbidding anyone from expressing a political view.

  15. my co-worker’s step-sister makes $69 hourly on the internet . She has been out of work for nine months but last month her pay check was $13181 just working on the internet for a few hours. Go Here this site….

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

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