There are some 11 million undocumented immigrants living, working and paying into a federal system they'll probably never benefit from currently in this country. That's down from 12 million in 2007, according to a Pew study. In Tennessee, there were an estimated 130,000 here in 2009, compared to 150,000 the year before.
Clearly, the bluster over the undocumented threat conjured by the likes of Rep. Zach Wamp and Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey was meant to harness the current clamor over Arizona's new immigration law and ride it right into the governor's manse. It didn't work, and as evidenced by this recent study, it was as divorced from reality as most Tennessee Republican rhetoric these days.
Aside from the hue and cry, Southwest border communities have some of the lowest violent-crime rates in the country, even as cities in northern Mexico devolve into unimaginable violence, spurred by a black market we're responsible for feeding. South Texas growers, faced with the prospect of fewer undocumented laborers, are moving to Mexico. And arrests of undocumented migrants made at the border have been nearly halved since 2005.
When Wamp and Ramsey jawed in campaign ads about cracking down on illegal immigration that has actually been on the decrease, are they willing to forgo the billions of dollars paid into Social Security by undocumented workers who'll never receive a single benefit? Or perhaps their idea of a stimulus is the money paid to the local jail for making commodities of undocumented immigrants under 287(g)?
Also, if you'd like to see Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer embarrass herself on television, check this out. Cringe with us!