Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Misguided Immigration Policy

You know things are getting bad when an immigrant-friendly mayor is put in the position to lament:
“I’m the hero of every redneck in America.”
This is exactly what happened to Irving, Texas mayor Herbert A. Gears.

Because the federal government has a schizophrenic and ineffective immigration policy that localities are trying to make up for. Upon his election, I think he summed up the problem facing states and cities pretty well, saying:

“We’ve defined what our responsibility is, and that’s only to allow the federal government to do its job. It’s not our responsibility to evaluate it or assess whether it’s good or not.”

Well, enabling bad laws have predictably bad consequences--hurting your own economy, for one:

Just after sunrise one morning last summer, as his two sons hurried out the door to school, Oscar Urbina might have presented a portrait of domestic stability in this Dallas suburb, a 35-year-old man with a nice home, a thriving family and a steady contracting job.

But a few weeks earlier, after buying a Dodge Ram truck at a local dealership, he had been summoned back to deal with some paperwork problems. And shortly after he arrived, so did the police, who arrested him on charges of using a false Social Security number.

Mr. Urbina does not deny it; he has been living illegally in the Dallas area since coming to the country from Mexico in 1993. But the turn of events stunned him in a once-welcoming place where people had never paid much attention to Social Security numbers.

If the arrest had come earlier, it might have had little effect on his life. But two years ago, Irving made a decision, championed by its first-term mayor, Herbert A. Gears, to conduct immigration checks on everyone booked into the local jail. So Mr. Urbina was automatically referred to the federal authorities and now faces possible deportation, becoming one of more than 4,000 illegal immigrants here who have ended up in similar circumstances.

Let's hear it for deporting productive members of society that spend money in our economy!

You can read the rest of this pathetic story here.

No comments: