Arizona’s immigration battle

illegal immigration US-Mexico borderProtesters stormed the streets of Phoenix objecting to Arizona’s new immigration law, most of which was struck down by a federal court judge who ruled that the bulk of the law intruded on federal responsibilities for immigration control.  Law Professor Susan Akram, an authority on immigration law, says the only way to keep states and Washington from fighting each other over this is for comprehensive immigration reform to be enacted by Congress because the reality is that 85 percent of the undocumented are working but drawing few government benefits.

“In other words, there is a net gain from immigrants and the undocumented, since they work and pay taxes but draw very few benefits.  But the money they contribute often goes to federal and state coffers, while many services they benefit from — such as health and law enforcement — come out of local government budgets.  That is the essence of the controversy between states such as Arizona and the federal government, with states claiming they are bearing the costs of the dysfunctional federal immigration policy.  This cannot be resolved through the courts.”

Contact Susan Akram, 617-358-3060, smakram@bu.edu

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