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  • Morning Bell: How State and Local Governments Can Help Control Illegal Immigration

    Meeting with his counterparts from Mexico and Canada earlier this month, President Barack Obama said that he expected the Democratic-controlled Congress, after completing work on health care, energy and financial regulation, to draft comprehensive immigration reform bills this year. This time frame acknowledges that no immigration legislation will be passed until at least 2010. But as Heritage visiting fellow Matt Meyer points out in a new report there is still plenty that states can do, in the meantime,  under their own constitutionally-protected traditional police powers to tackle the problem right now.

    Illegal immigration is a relatively new public policy problem. In 1980, there were only 3.5 million illegal aliens in the United States, which represented 1.5% of the total U.S. population. That year, 1.5 million illegal aliens lived in California — 6.6% of its population—making the Golden State the only state in the union whose illegal aliens comprised more than 3% of its population. It was only after the 1986 immigration reform bill, which provided amnesty to more than three million illegal aliens, that an ever increasing surge of people began entering the U.S. illegally. There are now an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States representing almost 4% of our population and 18 states have joined California with illegal populations exceeding 3%.

    In response to this influx of illegal aliens — which places increasingly greater burdens on state and local budgets, law enforcement, and public infrastructure like hospitals and schools – states began exercising their constitutional powers by engaging in a flurry of activity to curtail illegal immigration. The primary areas of action were: (1) driver’s licenses and identification, (2) public benefits, (3) access to higher education benefits, (4) voting, (5) criminal sanctions, and (6) employment. But states can, and should, do more. Mayer identifies a host of state and local government policy fixes including:

    • Mandate the use of the Systemic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) system to verify entitlement to all state and local government benefits;
    • Make it a felony to falsely claim legal presence in the United States;
    • Make it a felony and a predicate racketeering crime to smuggle aliens;
    • Outlaw sanctuary cities, including day-labor sites;
    • Institute a withholding tax for all electronic funds wire transfers to foreign parties or on negotiable bank drafts and international money orders without a valid Social Security Number;
    • Ban the use of foreign identification documents to establish identity or to obtain state identification cards unless accompanied by a U.S. document that demonstrates legal presence in the United States;
    • Restrict the use of taxpayer identification numbers for purposes not authorized by the Internal Revenue Service, including identification, unless accompanied by a U.S. document that demonstrates legal presence in the United States.

    Turning to what the federal government should do, Mayer concludes:

    Congress should help [localities], not by passing an amnesty reform package, but by amending the statutory (not constitutional) provisions that limit the actions they can take and by increasing the legal means for foreigners to come to the United States to work. The only way to end or significantly slow illegal immigration in America is to create a mosaic of laws across the country that increase the cost of illegal immigration to a point that the supply dwindles to a trickle as the demand is filled by legal workers.

    Quick Hits:

    • According to Rasmussen Reports, 70% of likely voters now favor a government that offers fewer services and imposes lower taxes over one that provides more services with higher taxes.
    • Based on CBO’s forecast for the average unemployment rate in calendar year 2010, 2.3 million fewer people will be employed on average next year than they projected in January.
    • The United States Tax Court rejected a taxpayer’s attempt to use the TurboTax defense successfully employed by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
    • Defending trucking deregulation in 1978, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) reminded Americans: “The problems of our economy have occurred not as an outgrowth of laissez-faire, unbridled competition. They have occurred under the guidance of federal agencies, and under the umbrella of federal regulations.”
    • According to car-shopping service Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl, “Cash for clunkers distorted the market in a way that benefited the industry for four weeks. Now, the payback begins.”
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Morning Bell: How State and Local Governments Can Help Control Illegal Immigration

    1. jim toledo says:

      Great article and as always great information. I think that if this administration was serious about 'real' immigration reform they would start by mandating everybody to follow the laws on the books and progress with full speed ahead on putting up the border fence and using whatever means available to stem the tide. I think that, again, it's really not about illegals or immigration, it's a matter of letting these folks in so they can gain votes and grow government. Hopefully, someday, we'll actually see some real reforms.

    2. Harry W Shipps, Sava says:

      With the US government owning GM and our desire for GM to suceed, why were we so reluctant in urging, even requiring, the 'cash for clunkers' buyers to purchase GM cars.

    3. Harry W Shipps, Sava says:

      With our government owning GM and our desire for GM to seceed, why did the government not urge, if not require, the 'cash for clunker' buyers to purchase GM cars rather than cars from foreign companies.

    4. Jeanne Seay, North C says:

      Urgent that you watch 'the obama deception.com' on the internet and watch the glenn beck expose'

      - you would do better to write about the take over the US goverment byObama and his shadow governmnent.

    5. Jeanne Seay, North C says:

      You can change my comments but it still is the truth.

    6. Jason, Colorado says:

      Thank you for this! Finally, a Morning Bell that does not waste virtual ink preaching to the choir about the ills of left-leaning thinking. You provided concise information about how to apply the Heritage ideals to today's issues. This tone and approach make the Morning Bell a much more valuable resource. Thanks again.

    7. Jeanne Seay, North C says:

      is my asking the Heritage foundation to investigate what is happening in the USA by watching video 'the obama deception.com on the internet is not acceptable?

    8. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Unfortunately, the largest border threat for Texans is from the Northeast, namely DC's beltway.

    9. Justin E. Bibb says:

      May I add one more suggestion? Make it impossible for illegal aliens to own real estate. Common sense dictates that only U.S. citizens should be able to own real property, does it not?

    10. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      A fella once told me not to worry about the Rio Grande but keep your eye on that darn Potomac.

    11. Dave, Florida says:

      Why not have all states follow the lead of Oklahoma which has made it a felony to hire an undocumented worker or to rent them a residence.

    12. Norski, MN says:

      These suggested laws to curb illegal immigration seem so reasonable and yet they have one fatal flaw – they might actually work. The road to Hades is paved with rationalizations. And the most morally corrosive of all is the rationalization one makes when deciding that they are above the law.

    13. William Levor Roslyn says:

      Now is the time to remind everyone as to who was responsible for the changes in our immigration laws that are destroying the greatest country in the world. That man was Senator Edward Kennedy. Let us remember him for his destructive work. God save America from the do gooders who have destroyed us.

    14. Norski, MN says:

      To Justin E. Bibb – I heard that President Obama has removed the restriction against Foreigners owning U.S. Agricultural Land. So maybe now other Countries can come in and buy up our farmland and blackmail us with our own American grown food? If this is true, then do not expect the Administration to care any time soon about Illegal Immigrants buying real property.

    15. carol, pembroke pine says:

      changing the subject to: why am i not seeing anything on your site about the newly appointed FCC Chief Diversity Officer, Mark Lloyd ? the information about his views and plans seem to be the deterioration and ruin of our Freedom of Speech.

      please start a talk to pass along and inform.


    16. Gayle Cranford, Herm says:

      I just recently began receiving The Morning Bell and want you to know that I appreciate getting it and also appreciate everything The Heritage Foundation is doing.


    17. Metalchemist, Califo says:

      This regime obviously wants to start a civil uprising, A revolution even. With them supporting Illegal Immigration and not the American Citizens that desperately need work, that are PUSHED OUT by the massive influx of illegals flocking to this country. What is happening is a serripticious take over of OUR country. It's no wonder that most of the products made in America are of inferior quality, due to unions and cheap unskilled illegal labor.

      Acta Non Verba For IT IS coming. We need to regain control of this country before it is turned against us.

      The Agenda IS A VENDETTA!

      Acta Non Verba


    18. jim smith says:

      Little Timmy lost his 1040, so he dodged his tax responsibility, just like your every day, run of the mill tax cheat. Soon, he'll be nominated for the Nobel Prize for Role Models, barely edging out O.J.

    19. TURTLE, TUCSON AZ. says:



    20. Maria Austin says:

      Check out FCC "Diversity" officer MARK LLOYD!!! He is another one of the radical communists put in place to infiltrate the present American system and way of life. His goal is to SILENCE our FREE SPEECH. He wants to SILENCE OUR VOICES!!!

      According to Mark Lloyd in one of this speeches: "the revolution in Venezuela (Chavez) is a good thing". Are you aware that Chavez has just recently put more than 350 radio stations out of business? Only the nationally sponsored (completely censured) radio and TV stations are allowed to be heard or seen.

      Lloyd is a part of the cancerous growth (radical/communist) quietly (so they hope) infiltrating our system.

      Check out the people behind and in front of the curtains whose only goal is overthrowing this DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, the AMERICAN WAY OF LIFE, CAPITALISM and above all enslaving us by snuffing out OUR VOICE and OUR FREEDOM.

      Get involved! Be Informed! Have no fear!

    21. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      As voters, make your individual States become Sovereign, answerable only to the Constitution and the Amendments of the United States of America, and not the Federal Congress nor the President!

      Next, call for a Continental Congress and boot every last Representative, Senator and the President out, and Start over with people who actually believe their oaths to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America!

      These Clowns don't


    22. Carol, AZ says:

      " How State and Local Gov't can control illegal immigration?"

      Clearly these reforms should be inacted across our land.Please support this.

      This fiscal nightmare has been shoved right back to state's right vis Federal Laws trampled on, forcing States to pay for all non-legal's costs.

      OK, AZ, N,J, to name a few states that I know took action over inaction.

      When the Pres. speaks about "a family unification program" along with this health care proposal,

      Please understand what is being implied here.

      The law states clearly, enacted in 1987,"any non-legal resident in the U.S can seek and got free health care in any public hos. emergency RM."

      Once again, anyone telling you that this proposal is not including non-legal residents of the US is sending out another spit in the wind story.

      All tenant's listed in the above article for change should be adopted by all States for the benfit of the State's responsibility to the tax paying legal residents paying into the tax base.

      How long would you last on your property if you didn't pay your property taxes.

      I did not invite these people into my house.

      If there are people out ther who believe it is my moral obligation to pay for these uninvited guests, I suggest they invite them into their home, and pay all costs for care and welfare and also walk them through the citizenship process.

      But they will not.

      All the free entitlements will stop flowing which amounts in the trillions .

    23. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:


      It would appear that the author here understands the "antiquated" and decidedly non Progressive concept of States Rights and the 10th amendment.

      PC is Thought Control


    24. Michael - New York N says:

      Government exists solely for Government. The citizenry, or the electorate, are fools for believing anything government says during an election. Case in point is illegal immigration. And indeed, after Reagan sign the last amnesty bill did the gates from hell fully open. The Obama monarchy will pass illegal immigration reform, and we tax payers again will be taken for a ride. People should wake up and realize we are now living in the USSA [R], where the Obama Commies will dictate everything from how we think, and what we eat, to what we drive. Freedom is gone; we can only thank our fellow Americans who voted for change for this change.

      Also, under Obama, the war on terror is over, Obama has unleashed government lawyers on our brave men and women. Our country is lost.

    25. Dave, Laguna Niguel, says:

      California is BANKRUPT, and owes @ $30BILLION and GROWING! Our IMMIGRANT Governator says "its NOT because of ILLEGALS". LIAR, LIAR PANTS ON FIRE! Those of us who live and work here know it is EXACTLY BECAUSE OF ILLEGALS! AS long as LIES are told, the situation WILL NEVER BE CORRECTED! In 2004, it was published that for the prior year ILLEGALS cost the state taxpayers $10.4 BILLION!!!! From then on the figures were NOT ALLOWED TO BE PUBLISHED!!! Last year OVER 200,000 ILLEGAL BIRTHS IN LA COUNTY ALONE!!! Illegals are now costing us in this country HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS! But hey, we will just build more printing machines and keep cranking out those soon-to-be-worthless bucks! When the rubber hits the road, it aint goin to be pretty! Catastrophe is just around the corner and we are in the drivers seat…which way are we going?

    26. Maria Austin says:

      Special Interest Groups consider US Immigration laws racist, inhumane and unjust. A possible answer to the problem would be abolishing all US Immigration Statutes and adopting "word for word" Mexico's standards and law per their government constitution. How could any group in the United States including LULAC or ACLU be offended?

      Contrary to popular belief, Mexico has VERY STRICT immigration laws which are enforced by every police agency in the country. The Bureau of Immigration can call upon any law enforcement officer to assist in their mission. Citizens from the United States traveling in Mexico WITHOUT proper documents are subject TO ARREST AS ILLEGAL ALIENS.

      Mexican law requires proof of citizenship, passport, photo I.D. destination and purpose of travel for any foreign national entering the Country. The foreign national CANNOT WORK and MUST HAVE MONETARY FUNDS to support their stay in Mexico!!!!

      Non-Immigrants, FM-3s must provide proof of identity as well as a financial statement, proof of income. This income MUST BE 250 TIMES THE MINIMUM WAGES paid in Mexico City. To fully immigrate, proof of income required is 400 TIMES THE MINIMUM WAGES paid in Mexico City. The elite ruling class of Mexico does NOT APPRECIATE IMMIGRANTS that are not self-supporting or ILLEGAL ALIENS COMPETING FOR JOBS. Amnesty for law breakers is NOT AN OPTION for any person worldwide who enters Mexico without documents or inspection!!!!

      In the United States, elected leaders for decades have created the ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION CRISIS by ignoring existing "Laws" and National Security "common sense" on our Borders and Sea Ports.

      This ship (The US) is sinking in front of our very eyes. NOT ONE MORE ANCHOR BABY!!! If you are here illegally, go home!

      We need to close our borders. After all, WHAT is a Nation without borders?

    27. Jerry S. Dickinson, says:

      The miracle of freedom and liberty are everything except free. To bask in the glory they bring unto the spirit one must be diligent in their maintainence. Right now the illegals have found a niche and are taking full advantage of it. We, on the other hand, seem happy to allow these con men we call elected officials direct our business. Fighting amongst our selves instead of focusing our full attention on the chicanery that has brought us to this point.We are comfortable to assume our lifestyle, liberty and freedom are our entitlement. In the real world you may have everything you can defend. We The People have got to realize who the real beast is and unelect them.

    28. ella,n.c. says:

      Dave,you are right illegals are costing us a fortune.Michael you are right our freedom is being taken away from us.Carol no we should not have to pay for any illegal person. All of them need to be sent back to mexico. I am fed up with seeing them at wallmart with 2 or 3 shopping carts full of groceries, and my one cart half full. They are living in heaven at our expense.The devil with far left thygs.

    29. randy,sa tx says:

      as a christan nation why is there so much hate against are americans south of the border? are we not all humans? And you call yourself pro life.sounds like racism to me.

    30. John, Arizona says:

      How do you suppose her highness, Nancy Pelosi will react to your thoughts on illegal immigration? She is the "door knob" who wants higher taxes on the rich because "we have lots of illegal immigrants to take care of!"

      With that kind of mentality do you even think there will be meaningful immigration reform?

      Why not use the same laws that Mexico uses for illegal immigration?

    31. mackp says:

      Obamas Change







      Would make a nice sign Semper Fi

    32. Roy Reed, Las Vegas says:

      Onama is trying with all his might to bankrupt the country so to have a government takeover! Hope I'm wrong, but I believe I'm right. Wake up people!!!!!

    33. randy,sa tx says:

      as a christan nation why is there so much hate against are americans south of the border? are we not all humans? And you call yourself pro life.sounds like racism to me

    34. randy,sa tx says:

      how long does it take to post a blog?

    35. Larry Henson ,OK says:

      All we need is more tax dollars going down the drain,get illegals out of our county!

    36. Rick, Nebraska says:

      Build all the tall fences you want, people will find away through, over, under, and around. The best way to slow illegals coming across the boarder is to "man the fences". It's quite simple. Assist the boarder patrol agents by beefing up the number of people patroling the fences. Use the national guard and other services. They have annual week-long training. Send some (1,000) of these people down to the boarder for a week. They'll be relieved by the next people doing annual training and so on. They're doing training anyway, why not send them to where we need them. This is national security. Drugs coming across the boarders. Illegals burdening the health care system, etc. I applaud those that took the effort to come to America legally. They should be just as concerned as the rest of Americans that care. They did it the correct way while others did not.

    37. Yvonne, Pomona, NY says:

      Thank you for this article regarding illegal immigrants it was very informative. I understand the Illegals want to make a better life for themselves, but the US can't continue to allow it to be done this way. There has to be a better way, this one is not working obviously.

    38. Carol, AZ says:

      For my fellow thinker,

      I want to point-out some points of Inf. about living in a border state.

      I also see others who are really close to the problem, from TX & CA.,so please add…

      Maria from Austin thank-you for the well written INf.

      Here, in AZ the violent's on the the border escaladed starting two year ago and our Gov't Janet Napalatano, currently the Head of H.L. Security, begged Pre. G.Bush for help.

      The Pres. stated, " that it was the State's problem.

      Our Gov't took control of our National Guard and sent them to the border

      Fed $$$ was freed-up for the beginning of the building, of a fence.

      There is thousands of miles of border here which will remain unprotected. No fence here, or in TX could ever be built to protect what remains.

      But the fence currently has closed serious choke points.

      The personnel on the border, totally under-man was increased.

      The military tech. we all know exist, ie. night vision googles, un-man planes, bullet proof vests, and more, were begged for, to protect the border guards.

      Some of it dribbled-in.

      Meanwhile the ranchers who own thousands of acres of ranch land in S.AZ had cattle slaughtered as a "message to keep their mouths shut " about protecting the border."

      Thousand cross here every year. Thousnads.

      Last year here in AZ, of those interdicted they represented 128 different countries.

      This is not just a MX, S.A problem but no one is speaking about these issues.

      Our desert is littered with bodies each yr with no I.D. The desert is littered with trash.

      The coyotes that run them arcoss, moving human flesh for profit, have many tactics to insure final payment once they make it across.

      Husbands ARE SEPARATED FORM WIVES, CHILDREN from FAMILIES….ONE CHILD WAS LEFT ABANDON FOR 18 hrs IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WINTER MONTHS last year. When the group was interdicted the parents begged the border patrol to locate her. She was find alive, but in very serious condition.

      You rarely hear about the trailor truck filled with dead bodies, sufficated, the mass graves on th MX side …

      All "press" has been shut-down for month about the blood bath that continues.

      MX has stated Over 11,000 men womean and children have been murdered by the five drug cartel families warring for control to move all drugs from S.A, through MX through TX, AZ borders.

      As these choke holds become increasingly smaller, the murdering has grown worse.

      The current leader of MX is one bright spot about this horrific situation.

      He is seriously working with ATF, an all other enforcement groups on his side, an ours . He sent 15,000 MX troops to secure the MX/TX side.

      He fired and replaced recently 800 border security agents on the MX side because the duplicity of so many MX border police cut so deep for $$$ kick-backs.

      The laws here in AZ have been changed on many levels to protect AZ.

      Proof of citizenship is required for registration of all children for school.

      Proof of" " ''is required for public housing.

      The seach engine,E-Verify which has been repeatedly blocked by the FeD Gov't, which is 99% accurate for proof of I.D is required here.

      If Buss. hires illegals, here they are fined.

      Many more laws were enacted….

      Meanwhile we in AZ, are the kidnapping Capital for the US.

      The number is not clearly known here, but in the thousands. Tourists who have never returned, teenagers, husbands, children and wives.

      In some cases these kidnappings are drug cartel related. Many however, are just people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Many are held for ransom , pd for, and never returned.

      DO not travel to MX!

      Gang violence MS-13, and others, been greatly reduced. We are not "sanctury status" here , we do not protect under-age offenders commiting violent crime. 40% of all violent crime here are committed by illegals.

      Does the problem continue?. Every day on one of three local networks it is the same thing….stash houses busted, round-ups, numerous meth busts,

      BUT what has also happened here because of our depressed economy, so many other states have inherted our problem….

      That is way all States must pass laws to enforce the very Fed. Laws that have been bi-passed for decade. You can not blame this problem on any Pol. party…This has been a shared duplicity from both sides.

      The first place to start is declaring all sanctury cites illegal in the US.

      You would be shock regarding this "protection given under the law." And If you live in a city like this, ask any law enforcement agency how this "protection" dis-allowed them to do their job effectively.

      I am second generation American and welcome any Immigrant here amonst us, that has applied for, and been granted, quota status to create the life my grand-parents invisioned along with millions of other grand-parents.

    39. Dave, Laguna Niguel, says:

      Randy instead of calling you an idiot, lets just say you are braindead. Americans LOVE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS who want to live AND work here and become and AMERICAN. Like a typical liberal clown you scream racism… Can't you be more creative? Oh yea…your a liberal, too much to expect from reactionary feeler types.

    40. Mary Houston, TX says:

      Maria Austin and Carol AZ have it right.

      Before even discussing any kind of "health care reform" every illegal should be removed from the US, the border should be closed North and South, there should be no more anchor babies. American citizens have every right to demand the security of our borders and the security of our properties. The first priority of government is the protection of its citizens and the property of the citizens. We must get our own house in order. If the government can't do this or won't do it then it seems to be an enemy of it's own people.

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