Over the past year, you’ve probably heard of the controversy in Arizona, where the legislature last year passed a tough law designed to identify, prosecute and deport illegal immigrants. This was followed by similar laws in other states, including Utah, Alabama, and closer to home, Indiana. Court battles are now going on over whether these laws are constitutional, since immigration policy is normally seen as the responsibility of the federal government.
Many who oppose these laws say they intimidate legal immigrants and even those whose ancestors may have been citizens for centuries, but may vaguely “look Mexican” or “look Arabic.”
Farmers and growers in a number of states have reported difficulties recruiting the migrant workers they depend on, precisely because of such laws. Nevertheless, a number of proposed Arizona-type laws are being talked about in the Michigan legislature.
Well, Michigan does have an immigrant problem, but not the one you might think. We need more immigrants - lots more. Throughout history, immigrants have been the most productive, most industrious and most job-creating members of American society.
Here in Michigan, and especially in Detroit, they are needed more than ever. In case you didn’t notice, we were the only state in the union to actually lose population over the last decade.
The population of Detroit is in virtual freefall, with now probably fewer than seven hundred thousand in a space meant for two million. The best thing for our dying central city would be a large infusion of talented, hard-working immigrants.