Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Say what you will about the Arizona immigration law . . .

it was starting to work.

Undocumented immigrants leaving Arizona in fear of crackdown . . . The law’s stated intention is unambiguous: It seeks to drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and to discourage them from coming here.

There is no official data tracking how many are leaving because of the new law. “It’s something that’s really tough to get a handle on numerically,” said Bill Schooling, Arizona’s state demographer. “It’s not just the immigration bill. It’s also employer sanctions and the economy. How do you separate out the motivating factors?”

But anecdotal evidence provided by schools and businesses in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods and by healthcare clinics suggest that sizable numbers are departing. Ignacio Rodriguez, associate director for the Phoenix Roman Catholic diocese’s Office of Hispanic Ministries, said churches in the area are also seeing families leave.

Priests are “seeing some people approach them and ask for a blessing because they’re leaving the state to go back to their country of origin or another state,” he said. “Unless they approach and ask for a sending-off blessing, we wouldn’t have any idea they’re leaving or why.”

Of course, that's why they had to stop it from taking effect. They couldn't let one state be a laboratory for successful experimentation, for fear they would be proved wrong.

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