APRIL 07, 2008
The U.S. border state leading the battle against illegal immigration with unprecedented tough laws has received complaints from Mexico’s government that too many Mexicans have been repatriated and the country is overwhelmed with demands for housing, jobs and schools.
Fed up with the devastating effect of illegal immigration, Arizona has enacted the nation’s toughest laws to curb the problem and evidently its working. State legislators have passed laws barring illegal immigrants from receiving government services, posting bail for serious crimes and winning punitive damages in lawsuits. This year a new law makes it illegal for businesses to hire undocumented workers and those that do can be shut down.
The state legislator who sponsored the work bill, Representative Russell Pearce, says the law’s undeniably positive effects include smaller class sizes, shorter emergency room waits and an overall huge savings to taxpayers. The Republican congressman drafted the bill because studies revealed that illegal immigration cost Arizona taxpayers over $2 billion annually, not including the toll of crime and destruction.
It turns out that enough illegal immigrants have either fled the U.S. or been deported that officials in the Mexican state of Sonora, which shares an extensive border with Arizona, have complained that too many of their fellow countrymen have returned. They miss the remittances sent from the U.S. as well as smaller class sizes in local schools.
Mexican government officials knew Arizona’s tough employment verification law would become their worst nightmare, which explains why they tried blocking it. Earlier this year a delegation of nine legislators from Sonora toured Tucson and held a news conference to say that their beloved state cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools resulting from illegal Mexican workers returning home.
One baffled Mexican legislator, Leticia Amparano Gamez, asked in Spanish “how can they pass a law like this?” She went on to explain that Mexico is not prepared for the “tremendous problems” it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs. Another member of the Mexican delegation, Representative Florencio Diaz Armenta, asked “what do we do with the repatriated?”
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