Friday, March 16, 2012

Immigration legislating in NC

The North Carolina Farm Bureau is trying to get out ahead to prevent a strict Arizona/Alabama type law from getting anywhere in NC.

Farmers can't find the help they need from the domestic workforce to pick crops -- and without foreign workers the crops would rot in the field, he said. The Farm Bureau is asking lawmakers to wait for federal government to fix the current system before taking any action. "It's a bad system that needs to be fixed," Daniel added.

Read more here:

From a logical standpoint, this is pretty convincing. From a practical side, however, it's useless because the federal government isn't going to fix anything for at least a year, and only then if Barack Obama wins the presidency. Even then chances are not great.

Instead, it's about waiting for the Supreme Court to decide what aspects of state immigration laws are constitutional and which are not. The court is going to start hearing oral arguments on Arizona's SB 1070 on April 25.

In the past year or so a number of immigration bills have been floating around the state, such as the NC Illegal Immigration Enforcement Act, that are aimed at copying other states (for a list of all pending immigration bills see here). Exactly what to do is now the job of the House Select Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy, which was in the news recently because of protests.

State legislators are not always known for common sense, but spending much time before the Supreme Court rules is a waste. Actually passing legislation before then just means a commitment to spending state resources on lawyers. "Boat rocking" just means "lawyer paying." I oppose such laws in any event, but throwing money away makes no sense.

Actually passing such legislation will also hurt the state in other ways, but that's another story.


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