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  1. #1
    Senior Member butterbean's Avatar
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    Feb 2005

    States try to make America less inviting to illegals

    States try to make America less inviting to illegal immigrants


    PHOENIX -- Frustrated by the influx of illegal immigrants, some states are trying to make this country less inviting to those who sneak across the border. Other states are moving in the opposite direction, trying to offer illegals many of the privileges citizens enjoy.

    Lawmakers in Arkansas, Colorado, North Carolina, New Mexico and Nebraska have considered allowing the children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state college tuition rates. Iowa lawmakers have looked at making it easier for illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses.

    On the other side of the debate, a new Utah law will replace licenses for illegal immigrants with driving-privilege cards that cannot be used to board airplanes or register to vote. A Virginia lawmaker wanted to bar illegal aliens from attending the state's universities.

    The most restrictive measures lately have come from Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point on the nation's porous southern border.

    "We may not be able to secure the borders as we would like," said Republican state Rep. Russell Pearce. But "we don't have to allow them to get free stuff."

    Arizona voters last year approved a law that denies some welfare benefits to illegal immigrants. Now Arizona lawmakers are trying to bar illegal immigrants from attending adult education classes, obtaining child care assistance, or receiving in-state status at public universities or state-subsidized college financial aid.

    Many states have long been frustrated by what they consider the federal government's failure to crack down on the flow of illegal aliens or overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

    Last month, the Pew Hispanic Center, a private research group, reported that there were an estimated 10.3 million illegal immigrants living in the United States last year, an increase of about 23 percent from in 2000.

    The Homeland Security Department announced in March that it is assigning 534 additional agents to the Arizona border, bringing the total there to about 3,000.

    President Bush wants to allow some illegal immigrants to remain in this country under a special work program but has run into opposition from his conservative GOP base.

    In the meantime, Arizona and other states complain that they must shoulder tens of millions of dollars in costs each year for health care and schooling for illegal immigrants and for locking up those who break the law.

    Many of the proposed state restrictions against illegal immigrants have a variety of purposes: tightening security post-Sept. 11, making this country less attractive, reducing the burden on states, and sending a message to Washington.

    Many of the pro-immigrant proposals are aimed at incorporating illegal aliens into society more smoothly and making use of the big pool of cheap labor they represent to employers.

    Advocates for immigrants say that only Congress can confront the central reason for illegal immigration: Immigrants can earn more in an hour in the United States than they could in a whole day at home.

    "Clubbing people because of their illegal status isn't going to make them legal or make them leave," said Angela Kelley, deputy director of the pro-immigrant National Immigration Forum.

    But Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which favors tighter borders, said: "If we are ever going to get a handle on this huge problem, we have to make it clear to the people who come here illegally that their presence here will not be tolerated."

    Critics of illegal immigration said there is little political will to stop the trend because businesses benefit from the supply of cheap labor.

    Indeed, some of the more welcoming proposals have been introduced in states like Arkansas and North Carolina, which have seen an influx of Hispanic immigrants drawn to jobs at farms, poultry plants and other businesses.

    Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee tried - and failed - this spring to extend state-funded scholarships to the children of illegal immigrants. His spokesman Rex Nelson said the proposal recognized that immigrants' children are likely to remain in the state and that Arkansas needs a well-educated work force.

    With North Carolina's Hispanic population booming - and Hispanic children dropping out of school at alarming rates - lawmakers introduced a bill last week that would extend in-state college tuition rates to the children of illegal immigrants.

    "In the end, this bill is about economic development and it's about educational opportunity, but it's also about the soul of who we are," Democratic state Rep. Rick Glazier said.
    RIP Butterbean! We miss you and hope you are well in heaven.-- Your ALIPAC friends

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    "In the end, this bill is about economic development and it's about educational opportunity, but it's also about the soul of who we are," Democratic state Rep. Rick Glazier said.
    You might have soul, but you still lack guts......the guts to fight for enforcement of immigration laws. Enforce immigration laws!

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