Monday, July 21, 2008

Are illegal immigrant enforcment laws working?

I was reading this article in the WaPo regarding the enforcement campaign against employers who knowingly hire illegals. The article complains of high costs but limited results.

It seems to me that if the "results" we are looking for is less illegal immigration, then we are doing better than ever. Although employers who do hire illegals should be punished, the real goal is stopping illegals from getting jobs here in the first place. So I looked around.

In El Paso Texas illegal immigrants crossings have dropped dramatically. In 1992, the sector's agents apprehended nearly 286,000 illegal border crossers. The end-of-year total this year is expected to be about 34,000.

Let that sink in for a second. Just in El Paso alone going from 286,000 in one year to 34,000 in one year.

This article from Dec. of 2007 describes how illegals are packing up and self deporting in Arizona because of the new laws.

Last year, Oklahoma's Legislature passed the nation's toughest law on illegal immigrants, making it a felony to harbor, transport, shelter or conceal undocumented immigrants. It also gave police authority to check the immigration status of anyone arrested (can you believe that wasn't allowed before???) This summer the law also also allows U.S. citizens to sue employers if they think they were fired in favor of illegal workers.

Since this law was passed in Oklahoma, the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says that 15,000-25,000 illegal immigrants have left Tulsa County alone.

In the past two years, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia and Oklahoma have refused in-state tuition benefits to students who entered the USA illegally with their parents. South Carolina became the first state to bar undocumented students from all public colleges and universities. In May North Carolina's community colleges ordered its 58 campuses to stop enrolling undocumented students after the state attorney general said admitting them may violate federal law.

Something is working my friends. Maybe we aren't punishing the employers as we should, but the illegal workers are getting the message. You won't hear much about the success of laws like Oklahoma, but for those living in these areas, the success is obvious.