How do they protect their turf? Some of these local measures cut off public funds and services to people whom the Bush administration -- even after 9/11 -- has allowed to enter or remain in this country illegally. Others require businesses and landlords to determine the immigration status of employees and tenants. From the Board of Supervisors in Loudon County, Va., to the state legislature in Oklahoma, to city hall in Hazleton, Pa., such immigration measures are certainly not the traditional bailiwick of local and state governments. But, as Lou Barletta, the Hazleton mayor who sparked this grassroots revolt against national lawlessness, put it, "I can't sit back any longer and watch my town being destroyed."
There have been setbacks. Hazleton's ordinances were struck down by a federal judge over the summer; Barletta vows to appeal. The municipality of Riverside, N.J., population 8,000, which last year enacted legislation prohibiting anyone from employing or renting to illegal aliens, recently rescinded the law after being slapped with two costly lawsuits, forcing the town to put off paving roads, buying dump trucks and repairing town hall. In protracted court battles, the town could crumble.
Across the board, however, these measures have worked. Illegal aliens are leaving these localities in droves -- "hundreds, if not thousands" leaving Riverside alone, according to The New York Times. USA Today reported last month that "Illegal immigrants living in states and cities that have adopted strict immigration policies are packing up and moving back to their home countries or to neighboring states."
"Neighboring states" without similar legislation, that is -- a split that could ultimately divide us as a nation between Border States and Open Border States. But maybe the grown-ups will rise up and restore the nation's sovereignty before that happens. What we need is a lot more New York county clerks.