Don't know who Russell Pearce is? No particular reason why you should unless you live in Mesa Arizona or read an article on CNN.com today. You see Pearce is an Arizona state representative who sponsored a bill to crack down on illegal immigrants.
It seems that illegals are streaming out of Arizona as the state's economy slows and a new crackdown on undocumented workers ramps up. Not surprisingly, many people are concerned that with the low-cost labor moving back to Mexico or on to other states, the Arizona economy will weaken further. What does the sponsor of the bill have to say to that?
"I'm hoping they will self-deport. They broke the law. They're criminals."
Ok, if that is what he intended, good for him. Rep Pearce is entitled to that black-and-white, populist view, but it he gets down right bizarre when he responses to the questions raised about the exodus' effect on the economy.
Pearce disagreed that the Arizona economy will suffer after illegal immigrants leave, saying there will be less crime, lower taxes, less congestion, smaller classroom sizes and shorter lines in emergency rooms.
"We have a free market. It'll adjust," he said. "Americans will be much better off."
Of course, Pearce is right about the crime, congestion, classroom sizes and emergency room lines. These things would happen to any community if it's population contracted. Unfortunately, he fails to mention the other effect, which is the decrease in money (and taxable base) that will accompany that shrinking population.
Finally, I doubt that Pearce fully grasps the irony of his "free market" response. Illegals are filling a need in economy and are the epitome of a free market. His legislation is putting an artificial constraint on that market. Perhaps Pearce should call up Hugo Chavez and see how artificial market constraints are doing for Venezuela's economy.
Barry Goldwater must be rolling over in his grave.
Illegal immigrants packing up and leaving Arizona