On Arizona’s new immigration law (it’s a mistake)
This law is incredibly misguided. Enforcement will be selective, inflaming ethnic and racial tensions. Police resources are better utilized pursuing crimes like homicide, rape, and theft. And the measure’s impact on immigration will be modest in any case.
The only way to reduce illegal immigration is to expand legal immigration; punitive, “supply side” measures will not work so long as the wage gap between Mexico and the U.S. persists.
I tend to agree. I don’t buy into much of the rhetoric surrounding illegal immigration. Typically, immigrants contribute much more to our economy than the anti-immigration crowd wants to admit.
A 2006 study from the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina shows that hispanics, both legal and illegal, have a significant impact on that state’s economy:
North Carolina’s rapidly growing Hispanic population contributes more than $9 billion to the state’s economy through its purchases, taxes and labor, while costing the state budget a net $102 per Hispanic resident in health care, education and correctional services, according to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
While I’m not an advocate of the welfare state and believe that it needs to be reformed before we handle immigration, the net cost to taxpayers in North Carolina was $61 million, however, once you take into account the $9 billion contribution and $1 billion in saved wages as a result of these immigrants, it’s not hard to see that it was a net benefit for the state. I suspect that each state has seen similar positive impact as a result of both legal and illegal immigrants.
Also, the idea that the state can stop you and ask for your papers reminds me of something we’d see from a totalitarian state.