Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Judge Posner: Scalia offers no evidence to back up his claims about illegal immigration. - Slate Magazine

Richard A. Posner - the generally conservative Chicago based federal appeals court judge - is one of the most influential thinkers about the law in the last 40 years.  His free-market oriented "law and economics" approach has made him a Republican hero.  So it is attention-getting when he reaches the point of specifically calling out Justice Antonin Scalia for his Limbaugh-like rant in Arizona v. U.S. - GWC
Supreme Court Year in Review: Justice Scalia offers no evidence to back up his claims about illegal immigration. - Slate Magazine:
In his peroration, Justice Scalia says that "Arizona bears the brunt of theuntry's illegal immigration problem. Its citizens feel themselves under siege by large numbers of illegal immigrant who invade their property, strain their social services, and even place their lives in jeopardy." Arizona bears the brunt? Arizona is only one of the states that border Mexico, and if it succeeds in excluding illegal immigrants, these other states will bear the brunt, so it is unclear what the net gain to society would have been from Arizona's efforts, now partially invalidated by the Supreme Court. But the suggestion that illegal immigrants in Arizona are invading Americans' property, straining their social services, and even placing their lives in jeopardy is sufficiently inflammatory to call for a citation to some reputable source of such hyperbole. Justice Scalia cites nothing to support it.
As of last year there were estimated to be 360,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona, which is less than 6 percent of the Arizona population—below the estimated average illegal immigrant population of the United States. (So much for Arizona's bearing the brunt of illegal immigration.) Maybe Arizona's illegal immigrants are more violent, less respectful of property, worse spongers off social services, and otherwise more obnoxious than the illegal immigrants in other states, but one would like to see some evidence of that.
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