Friday, December 18, 2009

From the Department of Glaringly Obvious Headlines

"Benefits law nets illegal immigrant suspects"

Arizona recently enacted a law requiring state public-benefits agencies (welfare, housing, unemployment, etc.) to report services applicants who are suspected of being illegally in the country to ICE.

After barely one month under the new policy, the number of people referred to the Feds in such a manner has reached nearly 800:

"Since mid-November, DES has discovered 772 people who sought public benefits but could not verify their legal status, said Steve Meissner, a DES spokesman. Because they could not verify their status, they never received benefits."

Whod'a thunk that getting serious about denying taxpayer-funded benefits to people who don't legally deserve them would actually work? Imagine if every state were to pass similar laws, instead of merely collectively wringing their hands and moaning about how "we can't possibly identify and deport so many people".

Well, this is certainly a good start, at least on Arizona's end of things. Now if ICE will only do their job correctly and escort these people back to their proper homes, we'll really be getting somewhere.

With Janet Napolitano running Homeland Security, though, don't hold your breath:

"DES sent those names to ICE this week. ICE plans to review the referrals to determine the individuals' immigration status and whether they have a criminal history', said Vincent Picard, an ICE spokesman."

We would like to point out to Mr. Picard that the article correctly notes that most, if not all, of these particular individuals (in addition to their unlawful immigration status) are now suspected of being guilty of attempted fraud, so his agency should pretty much assume the "criminal history" part.

"'There's a lot of uncertainty and a lot of fear,' [among the illegal immigrant population] said Connie Andersen, an immigrant advocate with the Valley Interfaith Project."

From our perspective, that's a good thing. Turning up the legal heat will no doubt convince more of the illegal immigrants to do the right thing and voluntarily return to their proper homes.

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