Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Illegals Flee Arizona, but Where Are They Going?

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The three major broadcast networks have all run dramatic stories proclaiming the great harm that will be done to small businesses in the wake of the enforcement of S.B. 1070, the new anti-immigration statute that is set to go into effect on July 29.

Particularly alarmist was the piece ran on ABC’s World News on Sunday. The correspondent wailed and the chorus chanted woe as one after another small business owner (alleged) predicted their imminent financial ruin as their most loyal customer base was washed away by the pounding tide of immigration enforcement.

One of the merchants featured in the ABC story was described as being distraught “about the quiet exodus — immigrant families already leaving the state in droves. In the past few months, she’s seen business and customers at her family grocery store disappear.” Curiously, the report made no mention of the laws these “customers” had broken, nor the crushing expense to the legal residents of Arizona caused by the increase in crime and disease that is the vile companion of unchecked illegal entry into the Grand Canyon State. (Read the related piece in The New American.)

In spite of the Chicken Little tenor of the tale, the crack ABC news team got one part of the story right: Illegal immigrants are elbowing each other out of the way to get out of Arizona while the getting is good. Various reports from Arizona record the flight of uncounted men and women who want to escape the heat of Arizona’s renewed push to enforce the current slate of federal immigration laws.

The law, known as S.B. 1070, empowers state and local law enforcement to determine the immigration status of anyone reasonably suspected of being in violation of the law, provided that person is already the subject of an underlying “lawful stop.” (See this story in The New American.)

While being in the state illegally is, well, illegal, most of the lawbreakers live and work in Arizona (and most of her sister states) without fear of reprisal or consequence. Until now. The passage of S.B. 1070 put illegals on notice, and now that the law is set to be enforced, there is a scramble to keep one step ahead of deportation.

At first blush, one would imagine that as most of the illegal immigrants living in Arizona are from Mexico, then most of them would be returning whence they came. In many cases this is so, however, there are reports that instead of going home, a troubling number of illegals are seeking asylum in other American states and cities where the federal immigration code is not enforced, whether de jure or de facto.

Arizona knows something about the reluctant retreat of illegals after passage of a strict immigration statute. In 2007, the Arizona legislature passed and then-Governor Janet Napolitano signed into law a measure that imposed sanctions on businesses that hired illegals. Napolitano, an avowed foe of S.B. 1070, once called the 2007 law that she signed, “the most aggressive action in the country” and one she was compelled to sign because of “Congress' failure to act, states like Arizona have no choice but to take strong action to discourage the further flow of illegal immigration through our borders.”

Those expressions are nearly identical in sentiment and syntax to those made by current Governor Jan Brewer when she signed S.B. 1070 into law back in April. “We in Arizona have been more than patient waiting for Washington to act. But decades of federal inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation,” said Governor Brewer. (See The New American article on the subject.)

The question of why Napolitano’s (now the Secretary of Homeland Security, one of the federal agencies tasked with enforcing federal immigration laws) frustration with Washington and subsequent signing of a tough immigration bill was not met with accusations of racism, has been neither asked nor answered. What is excused as frustration for Napolitano is labeled as fascism for Brewer.

Beyond the crushing economic strain illegal immigrants place on the backs of already over-burdened Arizonans, there is the issue of disease to deal with, as well. Since 2005, a significant bloc of medical practitioners in Arizona have signaled the scary specter of the increase in cases of infectious diseases that are being surreptitiously smuggled into Arizona by those crossing the border from Mexico.

As the masses of illegals beat a path out of Arizona, they will carry these maladies with them into the cities and towns of America that offer them sanctuary from obedience to federal immigration laws. Those places that (whether officially or with a wink and a nod) provide such protection to illegals should be prepared for a spike in the number of people contracting such 19th-century-sounding diseases as whooping cough, tuberculosis, malaria, measles, and leprosy.

Numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) recorded 21,283 cases of tuberculosis in Mexico in 2007. More relevant is the fact that the WHO also reported that 25 percent of all the cases of the disease extant in the United States came from Mexico.

Parents who live in these sanctuary cities should be especially cautious as the small children of illegal immigrants from Mexico, with whom they will be in frequent contact at school and at play, are typically not vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella as are children in the United States.

Are the citizens of these cities willing to submit their children and themselves to sudden exposure to these pernicious diseases in the name of sanctuary? Do the citizens of these cities comprehend the financial and physical cost they will pay to play host to the thousands of illegals settling in their neighborhoods after running from application of the federal law in Arizona? How long will they willingly shoulder such a burden before calling for their own versions of S.B. 1070?

This is the sort of alarm that broadcast news should be sounding in advance of the implementation of S.B. 1070, instead of interviewing people at yard sales getting good deals from illegals selling out before they pull up stakes. The cost of providing healthcare service to illegal immigrants is well-documented, but there will be a corresponding rise in contraction of serious communicable diseases among legal residents of those cities, as well, as disease does not distinguish based on immigration status, just like the sanctuary cities themselves.

S.B. 1070 is scheduled to go into full operational effect on Thursday. The egress of illegals from Arizona, as well as their ingress into American sanctuary cities should be of interest to all legal residents of the United States.

Photo: AP Images

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