With enactment of Arizona's state law, immigration policies jumped higher in the thoughts and concerns of more of us. This is not a no-brainer for most of us. It requires some homework and some thought. There is no position or policy that is not controversial.
On one extreme of the immigration issue is the wide open border, come one come all, approach. On the other extreme is the ugly American, "nobody else gets in, period" viewpoint. This topic offers many opportunities for using folks emotions for political gain, on both extremes and on the policy options in between these extremes. My purpose in bringing up immigration issues is to get us to face it directly and to guide us all toward better understanding the conflicting policy dynamics, along with the emotions that wash over many in these discussions. Further, there is value in attempting to understand useful facts at work here.
I will not attempt to post this as a single, comprehensive analysis. In fact, I am in the process of going deeper into these issues myself. I've already found seriously conflicting analysis, so this is not going to be as easy as I might have hoped!
I'm assembling some resources that will be of interest to those who wish to do some homework themselves on the immigration topic:
Arizona's New Law:
Arizona's new immigration law: SB 1070 [parts of this new law were amended by HB 2162, passed in the last hours of the legislative session, before final adjournment]
Revision to Arizona's new immigration law: HB 2162 [revising the newly enacted state immigration law]
Commentary on and analysis of Arizona's new immigration law: Key T Law
Pending bills in our Ohio General Assembly on immigration:
SB 150 -- [note: this bill passed the Ohio Senate on March 25, 2010 and is pending in the Ohio House] Authorizes a county sheriff, at the direction of the board of county commissioners and upon the request of federal immigration officials, to take custody of persons being detained for deportation or who are charged with civil violations of federal immigration law. Authorizes a county sheriff to render assistance to federal immigration officials, upon the request of those officials, in matters (1) related to the investigation, apprehension, and detention of aliens who violate criminal or civil provisions of federal immigration law and (2) related to the investigation of businesses suspected of employing aliens who violate criminal or civil provisions of federal immigration law. Clarifies that state and local employees, when rendering assistance to federal immigration officials, may assist in the investigation, apprehension, and detention of aliens who violate criminal or civil provisions of federal immigration law.
SB 35 -- Directs the Ohio Attorney General to pursue a memorandum of agreement with the United State Attorney General concerning the enforcement of federal immigration laws in Ohio. Requires the Ohio Attorney General to designate the appropriate law enforcement officers to be trained, as specified in the memorandum, in the enforcement of the relevant federal immigration laws.
HB 227 -- Requires, in specified situations, the verification of immigration status of persons who are not United States citizens, imposes state income taxes at a rate of six percent per annum on the compensation of specified independent contractors who fail to document such verification, and restricts the employment of persons who are not legal residents of the United States.
HB 184 -- Requires employers to register and participate in a work eligibility verification system for all new employees, requires employers to affirm their participation in this system, requires cancellation of public contracts with employers who do not participate in this system, requires jail officials to seek verification of citizenship of confined persons, requires notification of Homeland Security in certain circumstances, prohibits local governments from restricting communication with and cooperation with federal officials for purposes of determining citizenship status and requires consideration of immigration status in determining a defendant's bail.
SB 238 -- prohibits illegal and unauthorized aliens from receiving compensation and benefits under Ohio's Workers' Compensation law.
Sampling of immigration-related organizations with varying viewpoints
Fair University Online
Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
Center for Immigration Studies
National Immigration Forum
Reform Immigration For America
Council on Foreign Relations posts "First Take: A Worthy Effort on Immigration Reform"
Analysis: Argues that expansion of legal immigration practices has fueled growth in illegal immigration: Two Sides of the Same Coin: The Connection Between Legal and Illegal Immigration
Book description: How Obama is Transforming America Through Immigration