State leaders: federal government to blame for illegal immigration problems - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

State leaders: federal government to blame for illegal immigration problems

Is the answer to illegal immigration part of the problem?

Ask Representatives and Senators in Alabama, and get an emphatic yes.

Some leaders at the state level say they're having to take matters into their own hands because the agency responsible for handling illegal immigration is also responsible for letting the problem get so far out of control.

"The federal government hasn't done what it's supposed to do, giving us more ICE agents, because I'm laying this completely at the fault of the federal government," said District 21 Rep. Randy Hinshaw.  

He says, your tax dollars, flushed away for a service the federal government isn't providing.

"Why aren't the laws currently on the books not being enforced and why are they (taxpayers) not getting what they are already paying for from immigration enforcement by the federal government," are among the questions citizens need to ask, said Hinshaw. 

Both Hinshaw, a Democrat,  and Sen. Arthur Orr, a Republican have the same hunch on this one.

"My speculation is both parties, Democrats and Republicans don't have the political backbone to attack this problem in fear of isolating potential voters in the future," said Orr.  

Both men agree big business is also at the heart of the massive problem.

"Chambers of commerce, they want cheap labor so as long as they have illegal labor in they keep wages down," said Hinshaw. 

All reasons for an Immigration Study Commission at the state level to study the issues and find solutions. Hinshaw and Orr are also part of a bipartisan effort to compromise on a package of immigration bills to try and pass into law at the state level Hinshaw says, their biggest challenge:

"A lot of special interests are going to be involved in trying to make sure they get their legislation passed that's watered down enough that it doesn't do anything and that's what we can't allow to happen," he said.  

 There were several immigration bills introduced last session; one passed the House but not the Senate. To see those bills in detail, go to the legislative bill status site at http://alisdb.legislature.state.al.us

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