Political Correction

FAIR Pens Op-Ed Bashing States With Liberal Immigration Laws

June 29, 2011 5:24 pm ET - by Salvatore Colleluori

Today the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a Southern Poverty Law Center-labeled hate group, had its Communications Director Bob Dane and Communications Assistant Kristen Williamson pen a sarcastic op-ed for FoxNews.com listing the "Top Five Best Places" for "illegal aliens" to "relocate" to:

When "relocating" to the United States, it's best to avoid states that have selfishly put the interests of their legal residents ahead of yours with laws that hinder your access to jobs and benefits. But many attractive destinations remain, endorsed by millions of illegal aliens already living in each. [...]

Many "visitors" head straight for Central Valley, which depends on a combination of immigration and irrigation to produce almost 8 percent of America's total agricultural output. You'll be in good company because more than half of the farm workers in California have no work authorization. [...]

Given that the citizens of these destinations keep voting for politicians who enact policies that welcome illegal immigration, we're certain they'll be pleased by your arrival.

One could argue that the states listed in Dane and Williamson's attack are in fact putting the interests of their "legal residents" pretty high. Despite the often-heard criticism that undocumented workers don't contribute to society, there is a large amount of evidence supporting the contrary. For example, the Immigration Policy Center found that in 2010 California received $2.7 billion in tax revenue from undocumented workers and that comprehensive immigration reform including a legalization program would add $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over 10 years.

Georgia has found out the hard way what a draconian immigration policy will do farmers. Crop losses due to the shortage of migrant labor after to the passage of a new anti-immigration law could cost Georgia over $1 billion, and the parolees Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) sent in to replace the migrant workers stopped working hours before the migrant laborers they replaced, leaving produce to rot in fields. Contractors in Alabama, which also passed a anti-immigration law, are having difficulty finding workers to help rebuild tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa after a "mass exodus" of Hispanics from the state. Overall, it's been found that if all undocumented workers were kicked out of the United States, economic activity would decrease by over $500 billion, coupled with an overall reduction of $245 billion in GDP.

Ultimately, it seems the citizens who keep voting pro-immigrant politicians into office are actually doing themselves a favor. By filling in gaps in the workforce, adding to the economy, and paying taxes, undocumented immigrants have a clear positive impact on states. If you don't believe the facts, just ask Georgia.

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