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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

MATH

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Tomorrow the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a case challenging the new Arizona immigration law, one of the nation's toughest and one credited with a rapid outflow of immigrants from the state. I saw two statistics this week that should give antis in the state some pause. A study by think tank PPIC found that 8.3% of people in Arizona are illegally present immigrants, the highest percent of any state in the country. The Phoenix Business Journal reports that the state unemployment rate is 3.9%. Who are all these Americans that are going to line up to do the work of the immigrants fleeing that state? Isn't it time to recognize economic reality and pass immigration legislation to make it possible for employers to legally hire the foreign workers they clearly need?

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  1. Another voice's Avatar
    The other day they had the State Legislator that sponsor this bill and he said that it was "ok" for the immigrants to perform agricultural jobs but he did not want to see them doing construction, restaurant jobs or anything else, I guess he forgot to say that if they can make themselves invisible to the rest of the population it would be great too.
  2. Jack's Avatar
    'Isn't it time to recognize economic reality and pass immigration legislation to make it possible for employers to legally hire the foreign workers they clearly need?'

    You mean a 'temporary guest worker' program? I've heard you call for that but it would be helpful if you could outline the model for what you want--e.g., expansion of H2A/B, or point me to a prior post.

    If we're going to call it 'guest', those who lobby on behalf of business should first prove that whatever legislation they propose will actually result in temporary, not permanent migration. Can you do that, Greg? For example, if a program is to be truly temporary, how do you account for the 14th Amendment (birthright citizenship to guest workers' children)? If 'temporary guest worker' is an oxymoron, debaters over worker programs should acknowledge this and admit that a lot of supposedly temporary guest workers (and their families) will end up being permanent residents, legal or otherwise.

  3. Another voice's Avatar
    I guess Jack is going to come up with some people to replace the "Temporary" ones that he does not want here permanently. With a n aging population we would just have to wait a few years to see if the future generations of Americans want those jobs and are enough in numbers to replace the "temporary" workers, its still about MATH.
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