This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Anti-Immigration Legislation Bubbling Through the South

There seem to be two parallel state-level legislative agendas in play at the moment in the United States. One is aimed at restricting access to abortion, and the other is aimed at discouraging undocumented immigrants from coming to whatever state is passing the legislation. South Carolina has just passed such a law:

Republican Governor Nikki Haley on Monday gave her official approval for the law that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop or arrest for another reason and suspect may be in the country illegally.
"This is not an anti-tolerance bill. This is not a bill that pushes away one group for another group," said Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants. "This is a bill that enforces laws ... We support legal immigration."
The new law, due to take effect on January 1, also requires employers in South Carolina to use the federal E-Verify system to check citizenship status of employees and job applicants. Penalties for knowingly employing illegal immigrants will include suspension and revocation of a business license by the state.
However, on the same day, a federal judge in Georgia blocked, at least for the time being, the implementation of parts of that state's recently passed anti-immigrant legislation:
Judge Thomas Thrash issued a preliminary injunction halting Georgia from authorizing police officers to question criminal suspects about their immigration status.
He also blocked portions of the legislation that would make it a crime to knowingly harbor or transport an illegal immigrant.
"The apparent legislative intent is to create such a climate of hostility, fear, mistrust and insecurity that all illegal aliens will leave Georgia," Thrash wrote in his ruling.
It promises to be a busy summer...

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