Lee Rood’s Final Project

13 Sep

“Arizona’s border tighter, arrests down, but at a cost”

Des Moines Register, Sept. 12, 2010

Tucson, Ariz. Two fences – one concrete to block cars, the other barbed wire to block people – cut through a wide valley in the Tohono O’odham Nation Reservation west of Tucson.

Ground sensors and infrared night-vision cameras scan the vast terrain. Teams of Border Patrol agents comb dirt and concrete roads, perch at roadside checkpoints and search the Sonoran Desert by air and ATV.

Welcome to the nation’s busiest border and epicenter of the U.S. immigration debate. In April, Arizona adopted Senate Bill 1070, a polarizing state law that attempted to give state authorities more authority to crack down on illegal immigration. This spring and summer, as an angry electorate clamored for more immigration enforcement, Congress and President Barack Obama committed more federal resources than ever to border security.

What’s happened here since: a sharp drop in apprehensions of people attempting to cross the border, an economic hit because of fewer legal Mexican visitors, and declines in school enrollment.

“More U.S.-Mexico border crime a myth, officials say”

Des Moines Register, Sept. 12, 2010

If you lived hundreds of miles away and listened only to the sound bites leading to passage of Senate Bill 1070, it would be easy to imagine some parts of Arizona as every bit as lawless as fabled Tombstone, circa 1881… But with some 800 federal agents now working in the city of 20,000, crimes affecting local residents are few and far between.

“Utah seeking a balance for immigration solution”

Des Moines Register, Sept. 13, 2010

Salt Lake City — … In Utah, an embarrassing crisis caused some leaders to take a detour from the rush toward a hard-line, restrictionist route. In the works is a pilot program that would balance greater enforcement with business needs and a legal avenue for undocumented immigrants already in the state to keep working.Proponents say they will complete a draft of their plan as soon as this week. They believe it could be a temporary solution some states are looking for as the country awaits the reform missing from Congress.

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