Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Conservatives blast feds on failure to enforce immigration

'Powerful business interest want cheap labor and they found a loophole -- not in the law, but in the federal government's lack of enforcement,' Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Saturday at the Conservative Political Action Conference forum on immigration..

'Cheap labor is a commodity. If you flood the market with any commodity, it will drive wages down. For unskilled American workers, their purchasing power is down.'

But the problem extends far beyond economics, said Georgia Republican State Sen. Nancy Schaeffer, who said that the Georgia Legislature has passed laws denying government benefits to illegal immigrants over the age of 18, cracking down on employers that hire them, and clamping down on human trafficking.

'When there is no enforcement federally, the states are left with the crisis,' she said.

In Arizona, drug dealers cross from Mexico into the United States with little problem, said Chris Simcox, president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a border-watch organization that is pressing for federal curbs on illegal immigration.

Simcox also said the recent conviction of ex-border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean -- sentenced to more than a decade each in prison for shooting a Mexican suspected drug smuggler -- sends the wrong message to agents in the field. 'Agents feel paralyzed after their jailing,' Simcox told the forum. 'They fear doing their own jobs.'

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