Michele Waslin: Attrition through enforcement — “self-deportation” — has gone from being a catchy phrase coined by immigration restrictionists to a frightening reality in many parts of the U.S.
Seth Hoy: The idea that harsh state immigration enforcement policies are “working”—that is, forcing unauthorized immigrants to return home—just doesn’t seem to hold water.
Michelle Waslin: The growing backlog means that more immigrants are being kept in detention for longer periods of time. Making matters worse, a bill by Rep. Lamar Smith (H.R. 1932) to allow the U.S. to detain immigrants indefinitely is currently making its way through the House of Representatives.
Michele Waslin: Advocates are going to expend much time and energy fighting yet another enforcement-only program that—absent legalization and other reforms—does nothing to fix our broken immigration system but has extremely negative consequences for law abiding employers and U.S. workers.
Seth Hoy: Instead of defending the Administration’s enforcement strategy, however, maybe Secretary Napolitano should take a serious look at the egregious enforcement actions taking place right under her nose.
Seth Hoy: The legislative graveyard got a little bit bigger this week as lawmakers in Mississippi pronounced a series of restrictive immigration measures dead.
Seth Hoy: Recognizing the vital role immigrants play in our economy, workforce, and communities would go a long way in crafting fair and workable solutions that go beyond enforcement.
Seth Hoy: Perhaps if state lawmakers listened to their constituents and considered the economic consequences, they might realize that playing with enforcement-only immigration is a surefire way to burn down your state’s economy.
Seth Hoy: While some state lawmakers reject the enforcement-only approach to immigration, others—like state Sen. Russell Pearce, author of Arizona’s SB 1070—continued to sink their state in restrictionist quicksand.
Seth Hoy: Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kansas and Arizona are still pursing harmful enforcement legislation, but they do so in full light of the social and economic consequences—consequences for which Arizona and other states are still paying.
Michele Waslin: While everyone agrees that high unemployment levels must be addressed, simplistic measures like mandating E-Verify are not going to open up jobs for millions of unemployed workers.
Seth Hoy: As many states face budget deficits in 2011, lawmakers might be asking their constituents the same question as those Capitol One commercials, “What’s in your wallet?”
Seth Hoy: Sadly, however, state legislators seem determined to act against their state’s best interests and move forward on restrictive immigration laws, which have been proven time and time again to hurt small businesses, law enforcement and the pocket books of the constituents they claim to represent.