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Schwarzenegger calls for immigration reform, but Feds ill equipped

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

Appearing on Fox News with Greta Van Susteren (Feb. 23), Governor Schwarzenegger briefly emphasized the need for immigration reform in light of California’s economic woes.  “We've got to go and make a decision so that people can come to this country legitimately, rather than having quotas there, because we need the farm workers,” said Gov. Schwarzenegger.
 “We need the construction workers. We need to have people do certain jobs that maybe that we cannot fill otherwise,” he said.

Another immigrant demographic Schwarzenegger desires to reach is foreign students in California for schooling. Schwarzenegger thinks it's a problem that students spend a few years in California and are sent back upon completing their education.  “I think they should stay here. They should work here. And they should take that knowledge that they have gained in California and put it to good use for California if they're studying here,” he said.  

Portraying himself as a politician tough on illegal immigration, Schwarzenegger said that his state’s strict laws forbid undocumented workers from working in the state.  “Well, as you know, we have strict laws that you can't hire anyone that is here undocumented in the state,” he said.  However, he also acknowledged the current system’s cracks, noting illegal immigration somewhat effects California’s spiraling economy.

“There's people that break the law, and all those kind of things. But the fact of the matter is, yes, it does have -- create an extra burden on our economy and also on our budget situation.”  In California’s recovery efforts and the governor’s claims of illegals breaking the law, the state is dealing with a delicate balancing act and needs to juggle these two issues.

Governor Schwarzenegger's call for immigration reform is problematic in its own right, appearing to hold contradicting stances at times.  As congressional members seek to impose a one-size-fits all solution to the matter, what’s perplexing is that the feds aren’t even equipped to adequately address the issue.

For one, the Sec. of Homeland Security may halt construction on a high tech border fence began under the Bush administration.  While there are disagreements about the effectiveness of a fence, what’s the better proposal in place of it?  
For another, the Daily Caller reported the federal government’s E-Verify program is failing to catch more than half the illegals it checks.

The massive federal government is currently lost in a wonderland of bewilderment, lacking a sense of vision.  As government continues to grow at an unprecedented level, the more inefficient it will become in dealing with the immigration problem.

What we need is a sizable government to tackle these particular obstacles.  The feds should allocate financial resources fitted to each state’s particular immigration needs.  In turn, the feds would need to hold states accountable for using that funding wisely.  State programs shouldn’t foster immigration activities that are a drag on taxpayers.  This solution would allow states like California to be autonomous instead of being beholden to the current inefficiencies of the federal government.

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