Arizona's new tough-guy anti-immigration law is just a few days away from taking effect. As the country gets ready for the zero hour, and Arizona expectantly waits to see if a federal judge will put a hold on the law from taking effect, we here at PP&B want to quote directly from the above-linked story:
And the annual costs? About $600 million for educating illegal immigrants at K-12 schools, more than $120 million for jailing illegal immigrants convicted of state crimes and as much as $50 million that hospitals have to eat for treating illegal border-crossers ...
Yowza. That's a pretty big price tag, and it's difficult to argue why the government should shell out that kind of cash for illegals, especially during tough economic times.
And that's pretty much what a lot of problems come down to: money. If the federal government paid for jailing illegals, Arizona might not be angry enough to pass a law. But the fed doesn't, and that likely helped lead legislators to pass a law that's pretty similar to the fed's, which the latter apparently doesn't care to enforce.
Fair enough, Arizona. Personally, we're content to watch this whole thing play out in the courts for the next few years, as long as we remain a healthy distance from all the drama.
Something else we're curious to see: Will the new state law push out illegals in addition to legal immigrants? Will the exodus of both illegal and legal immigrants and those of Hispanic descent be enough to crush Arizona's economic engine back to the dark ages? Will state lawmakers one day cry to the heavens about how if only they'd known, they never would have passed that treacherous bill?
We're content to wait and see that, too.