Of course, the whole thing gets more complicated, particularly in Arizona, where a local paper reports that the new law may turn more illegals into citizens.
The new law will add to a processing backlog that already has caused federal authorities to release an increasing number of illegal immigrants back into the U.S. to await deportation hearings. And if nationwide figures can be applied to Arizona, one in four of those who are released from federal custody fail to appear in court.
The arrest-and-release policy is a little-known part of federal immigration law that allows illegal immigrants to challenge deportation and obtain legal residency, and a driver’s license, as long as they meet certain conditions. If more illegal immigrants are apprehended and processed through the federal system – which is expected to happen after Arizona’s immigration law takes effect on July 29 – then an even greater number would qualify for legal status.
“In a sense, it’s like there’s some incentive to get caught,” said Tucson immigration attorney Maurice Goldman. “Theoretically, more people would end up in front of immigration judges, which means more would get released.”
Keith Olberman also covered this on Countdown last night:
Joe Carr may want to rethink his resolution, or sign on to Turner’s amendment right about now.