If Arizona Can Criminalize Undocumented Status, Why Can’t Other States Legalize Immigrants?

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Back in January, I posed a question: If Arizona could legally rework federal immigration laws to restrict immigration, why couldn’t other states issue their own visas to fill labor needs?

Both types of bills would be based on the notion that if federal immigration law fails, then states have the right to fill the void. Of course, I viewed my proposal as a bit of mockery meant to expose the ridiculous premise of Arizona’s harsh immigration bill, SB 1070.

Apparently, however, my idea is catching on. At least in Utah.

The Deseret News commissioned a poll on immigration that included a question about whether or not Utah state government should create its own legalization program for undocumented immigrants. Here is the result:

Seventy-one percent support creating a state-issued work permit for undocumented immigrants to allow them to stay here if they have a job and agree to a criminal background check.

If one state can address illegal immigration by criminalizing being undocumented, why can’t another state address the same issue by legalizing the undocumented?

Image courtesy of Trevor Huxham via Flickr.


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