States pick up the slack on immigration reform
Seems that SOME people CAN actually get something positive done when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration:
BOSTON - State lawmakers are increasingly stepping into the void created by the failure of Congress to approve sweeping changes to immigration policy, a new report finds.
Legislatures have passed bills dealing with a range of immigration issues, from employment and health care to driver's licenses and human trafficking - creating a sometimes uneven patchwork quilt of immigration law across the country.
Arkansas approved a law barring state agencies from contracting with businesses that hire illegal immigrants. Louisiana has a new law barring the state from issuing driver's licenses to foreigners until their criminal background has been checked. Oregon made it illegal for anyone other than lawyers to perform immigration consultation work.
In the first six months of the year, 171 immigration bills became law in 41 states. That's more than double the 84 laws approved in all of 2006, according to the report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, being released Monday at the group's annual meeting in Boston. ...
Though immigration previously was largely a concern of border states, it has quickly become a national concern, and lawmakers in all 50 states are weighing legislation this year, according to Sheri Steisel, NCSL immigration policy director.
"Given the absence of federal consensus of national immigration reform, state legislators are stepping into the void and doing their best," Steisel said. "They can't wait. They have to deal with the reality of how immigrants impact their communities now."
You'll note you don't see any reports of states trying to add anything like amnesty or increased benefits for illegals as part of any "comprehensive" reform measures. No eforts at a "grand bargain" that has "something for everyone"...just straightforward legislation dealing w/the problem in a way that average voters approve of.
And note that these elected officials, acting at the state level, are much closer to the people they represent...and represent smaller districts that are more likely to be responsive to what the grassroots are saying. Coincidence?