Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Going Backwards Because of Immigration

In 1787 The United States Constitution was adopted. Before that, the country was operating under the Articles of Confederation. The reason the Articles of Confederation was replaced because it wasn’t working. States had all the power to create their own laws without regard to other states or the national interest.

Last year there was 222 laws and 148 resolutions passed by state legislatures governing immigration. This doesn’t include all the laws that were already in place. Many states are taking a hard look at immigration and devising their own plans in an attempt to address the problem. All of this because the elected officials of the national government have not been able to find consensus on the issue.

This is beginning to look like the Articles of Confederation again.

States do have the right and responsibility to enact legislation that will provide for their citizens. But state laws should deal with issues that are local or state wide in scope and not national issues. National issues are the responsibility of Washington. This is especially true for an issue like immigration that effects each and every citizen in some way in America.

With each state developing its own laws to deal with immigration there is going to be a very wide set of rules and regulations. This will create an incredible amount of confusion in the country. Legal workers and immigrants that move from state to state will be unsure of what documents they may need to prove their status. Employers that hire workers across many states will need to developed employment policies for each state. Virtually every private and public service agency; local, state and national; will need individual sets of procedures to just do their job.

Immigration is a national issue and states need to stay out of it. But, they are acting because the federal government is not. It is time for the federal government to act.

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