MARCH 29, 2012
Laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration are having a detrimental effect on communities and pushing undocumented immigrants into the shadows of society and forcing them to live in fear, according to a study financed by American taxpayers.
Conducted by researchers at the University of California San Diego, a publicly funded institution, the new study focuses on the lives of illegal aliens in that part of southern California, which shares a border with Mexico. It’s actually part of a department dedicated to understanding the challenges and opportunities created by international migration. University researchers travel south of the border to gather statistics then publish the findings.
This latest segment (Life as an Undocumented Immigrant—How Restrictive Local Immigration Policies Affect Daily Life) explains how the passage of “anti-immigrant state laws” or “restrictive local ordinances” impacts illegal aliens. It also sheds light on how illegal aliens “mitigate the harshness” of these ordinances and how the larger community—including legal residents—is affected.
You can already see where this is going, but let’s still check out a few snippets. Researchers found that the “exclusionary policies” (as well as ramped-up federal enforcement) inhibit immigrant incorporation into their communities. That’s because if forces illegal aliens to go underground, hold negative perceptions of local law enforcement, associate routine activities (such as driving and walking) with anxiety and the risk of deportation.
Why is this so horrible and how does it hurt communities? Immigrants who are afraid to leave their houses foster less vibrant and civically unengaged neighborhoods for immigrants and nonimmigrants alike, according to the report. Here’s another one; immigrants who are reluctant to accompany their children to school are a barrier to effective education. Let’s not forget this frequently used argument; Immigrants who do not interact with police limit the efficacy of policing measures.
In short, the university researchers conclude that illegal immigrants feel “unduly persecuted” by authorities and go to great lengths to avoid contact with officials. This includes altering their appearance in order to “blend in,” using “surrogates” to buy groceries or pick up their children and changing their behavior to “appear calm and less anxious to avoid drawing suspicion.”
Conveniently excluded from the victim report are daunting figures that illustrate how illegal immigrants are draining the state. California taxpayers spend north of $10.5 billion annually to educate, medically treat and incarcerate illegal immigrants. Check out the chilling details in this in-depth report published by a national nonprofit dedicated to studying the impacts of illegal immigration.
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