Friday, April 23, 2010

Arizonans are willing to bankrupt themselves to put undocumented migrants in jail

We created a system that encourages and relies on illegal immigration. Why not just give documents to enough workers to fill the jobs we need filled?

U.S.’s Toughest Immigration Law Is Signed in Arizona
The New York Times
April 23, 2010

PHOENIX — Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the toughest illegal immigration law in the country on Friday, aimed at identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants. The governor’s move unleashed immediate protests and reignited the divisive battle over immigration reform nationally.

President Obama at the naturalization ceremony for 24 active duty service members at the White House on Friday.

Even before Governor Brewer signed the law at a 4:30 p.m. news conference here, President Obama strongly criticized it.

Speaking at a naturalization ceremony for 24 active-duty service members in the Rose Garden, Mr. Obama called for a federal overhaul of immigration laws — an overhaul that Congressional leaders signaled they were preparing to take up soon...

Spar & Bernstein's Law Link
IPC: How Much Will Arizona’s Immigration Bill (SB1070) Cost?
by mgeffner
April 21, 2010

Source: Immigration Policy Center

Washington, D.C.- Frustrated by Congress’ failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform, states across the country continue considering legislation that relies heavily on punitive, enforcement-only measures which not only fail to end unauthorized immigration but also have the potential to dig their state’s finances deeper into a hole.

The latest example of this kind of policy nose dive is in Arizona...

Implementation Costs of SB 1070 to One Arizona County
April 23, 2010
Immigration Policy Center

Today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer may sign into law a bill that has the potential to sink her state much deeper into the red than it already is...

In Arizona, when a bill is introduced in the state legislature, a "fiscal note" is attached which lays out the cost of implementation. In the case of SB 1070, the accompanying fiscal note is shockingly lacking in detail, concluding that "the fiscal impact of this bill cannot be determined with certainty...

In the absence of any current fiscal data on the cost of SB 1070's implementation, some Arizonans are pointing to a fact sheet produced by Yuma County Sheriff Ralph E. Ogden in response to similar legislation proposed in 2006. Yuma County is one of Arizona's 15 counties, with a population of about 200,000.

The 2006 fact sheet estimates the costs of a bill which would have authorized the police to arrest illegal immigrants on trespassing charges if they were simply present in the state (the bill was eventually vetoed by then Governor Janet Napolitano). The Yuma County Sherriff's fact sheet shows a staggering potential cost to Yuma County law-enforcement agencies. The Sherriff estimated:

* Law-enforcement agencies would spend between $775,880 and $1,163,820 in processing expenses;
* Jail costs would be between $21,195,600 and $96,086,720;
* Attorney and staff fees would be $810,067-$1,620,134;
* Additional detention facilities would have to be built at unknown costs.

Furthermore, in an email between Yuma County Attorney Jon Smith ... noted that his county was already struggling with a budget deficit by furloughing employees and forcing days off without pay. He wrote:

"It was also noted that the Superior Court, Justice Courts and Municipal Courts would also realize increased costs if that legislation passed..."

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