As long as Mexico sees exporting its cheap workers north as advantageous, the parasite government there will continue to push them out. Of course, many US businesses prefer workers who arrive with an “Exploit Me” sign around their necks.
And Arizona is currently the freeway onramp for millions of illegal aliens.
1 battle in Arizona immigration war, Politico, By Senator Russell Pearce, March 26, 2011
The Arizona Senate on March 18 voted down five immigration bills I supported — most notably, one addressing the issue of birthright citizenship for children of illegal immigrants.
While I was disappointed with last week’s votes, it was not the last word on illegal immigration in Arizona. I am not backing off from in demanding our laws be enforced.
I know that the Arizona-led battle to enforce U.S. immigration laws cannot be won overnight.
I introduced what is now SB 1070 to no avail every year between 2005 and 2009, before it finally passed and was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer last April.
While SB 1070 has garnered unprecedented national attention, it was not the law that “started it all.”
Prior to SB 1070, I introduced many other measures that addressed illegal immigration — and eventually became law. In 2004, 56 percent of Arizona voters approved Prop 200, which denies certain government benefits to illegal immigrants and prevents voter fraud.
In 2007, then-Gov. Janet Napolitano signed the Legal Arizona Workers Act, which mandates E-Verify to all employers, ensuring they did not hire illegal workers. Additional laws that punish human smugglers; deny illegal immigrants bail, and set up a statewide task force to deal with illegal immigrant gangs passed prior to SB 1070.
These were all uphill battles. But we persevered.
Much has been made of an open letter that 60 chief executive officers of Arizona businesses sent me, urging the Legislature not to “pass any additional immigration legislation.” They focused on the supposed negative effects of a boycott of Arizona. But it is not unreasonable to suspect that a desire for cheap labor was also a factor.
Citing this letter, a New York Times editorial credited business opposition to the defeat of my bills, arguing “The reversal has to do with money, of course. The bills were dead once the state’s business lobby weighed in against them.”
There is no doubt that the business interests influenced some GOP lawmakers. But this is nothing new. All of my past immigration laws overcame strong opposition from the Chamber of Commerce and other special interest groups.
But despite the cheap labor lobby’s continued opposition to immigration enforcement, the Republican Party of Arizona, and across the nation, has moved strongly in the direction of enforcement. In 2004, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) was the only member of the Arizona congressional delegation to support Prop 200. The Arizona Republican Party, though not the grass roots, opposed the initiative as well.
Seven years later, the state GOP, four of the five Republican congressmen (except Rep. Jeff Flake), and both Republican senators — John McCain and Jon Kyl — support SB 1070.
More important than the politicians, SB 1070 has the support of the citizens of Arizona — and the United States. These sentiments have not waned. Two recent polls by Rasmussen and the Pew Research Center both show Americans supporting SB 1070 by a 2-1 margin.
The naysayers want to believe that the enthusiasm for Arizona’s tough stand was just a temporary temper tantrum that already has expired. But until our borders are secured, and our immigration laws are enforced, the people of Arizona will not rest.
While last week’s votes were a setback, we have fought these battles before and prevailed. We will prevail again.
Sen. Russell Pearce is a Republican in the Arizona Senate. He wrote the state’s immigration law, SB 1070, as well as the Legal Arizona Workers Act and Proposition 200.