The rhetoric from Washington about “immigration reform” has stopped.
Tempers have cooled from their peak of last Spring and Summer.
And the future of our nation's immigration policy is very uncertain.
So now would be a good time to take a look at what has happened on a more localized level - - on the level of municipal, county, and state government - - as it regards the struggle to deal with illegal immigration in our country.
It’s no surprise that local lawmakers have attempted to address this huge and growing problem. Our federal government has failed to secure our nation’s borders for decades, and instead of heeding the call from American citizens to get the borders secured NOW, the Congress and the Administration chose instead to lecture us earlier in the year about “comprehensive immigration reform,” “pathways to citizenship,” and “touchback provisions” - - all at their own, political peril.
In response to Washington’s “non-response,” we've witnessed local governments trying to tackle what is, ultimately, a "federal issue." These efforts are noble, and understandable, given the federal government's failure to create and uphold any semblance of a rational, cohesive immigration policy.
In a previous column here at Townhall.com, I wrote about the county board of supervisors in Prince William County, VA. Over the summer, they moved to cut funding of public services to illegal immigrants, and to beef-up police resources, last July.
Shortly thereafter, the board voted unanimously to support a new policy that increases “residency checks,” and seeks to improve and streamline cooperation between the county, and federal immigration authorities.
However, when it came time to voting to budget the $14.2 million estimated to be necessary to actually put the new policy into action, the board voted instead to revisit the “funding issue” at a later date.
In essence, the board “got tough” on illegal immigration, but then appeared to “flinch.” Suspicions abounded that the board of supervisors in Prince William County were yielding to business owners in their region who believed the new measures could harm their fortunes.
While this was unfolding, the state legislature in Arizona this summer passed one of the toughest anti-illegal immigration measures in the country. Known as the “Fair And Legal Employment Act,” it seeks to punish business owners who “knowingly” or “willingly” employ illegal immigrants. Indeed it was a “tough” piece of legislation - - under this new law, signed by Governor Janet Napolitano on July 2nd, business owners in Arizona can be banned from doing further business in the state after only two violations.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.