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April 24th, 2012 2:20 pm
Dip in Mexican Migration Validates Arizona’s Law

Today’s Wall Street Journal highlights a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center showing a drastic change in Mexican immigration patterns into the United States over the last decade.

During America’s economic boom from the 1990’s until 2005, millions of illegal immigrants were attracted to border-states like Arizona for lucrative work in industries like construction.

Between 2005 and 2010, however, the numbers of Mexicans migrating back to Mexico roughly matched the numbers of those coming into America.  In 2011, evidence suggests that more Mexican immigrants returned to Mexico than came to America.

The WSJ author’s final paragraph gives a glimpse how the Pew report might be used by liberals to undermine Arizona’s anti-illegal immigration law being argued before the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court begins a review of Arizona’s anti-illegal immigrant law. That law, and similar ones drafted in other states, has led some undocumented Mexicans to go home. Lawmakers should take the shift into account to ensure policies reflect current reality, said Roberto Suro, a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California.”We have turned the page in terms of migration,” he said. “We haven’t turned the page yet in terms of the policies.”

Justified laws that achieve their intended purpose should be applauded, not repealed.  In Arizona’s case, the state had unacceptably high levels of illegal immigration and it passed a law to help state law enforcement officers identify and deport illegals who had then committed a second crime (the first being illegal entry).

If the Pew findings are true and illegal immigrants took Arizona – speaking through its law – at the state’s word, then the present reality of less illegal immigration supports continuing the law’s enforcement.  To follow the logic of USC’s Professor Sura about success mandating repeal is foolish and denies the important role law plays in deterring bad behavior.

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