I am writing in response to Randal J. Jacoby's letter, "Put Things In Perspective" (AFN, July 30). I understand that he was responding to another article, but I don't understand Mr. Jacoby's perspective. People are not looking for scapegoats, they are looking for answers. The people are also looking for who is responsible for the situation in which we find ourselves. Our situation was not caused by free-markets, but by government intervention and bad banking practices, among other things. Even though Jacoby doesn't want us to look to scapegoats, what is he suggesting when he says we need to look at India and China as threats? Is that not looking for scapegoats? It's now China and India that are to be the cause of our problems?
I think Jacoby is right, we probably would not care as much about illegal immigration if the economy was booming instead of dying. So what? The reason the people are looking at illegal immigration is exactly because of our present economy; and they are realizing we can't afford it. We can't afford to pay for their schooling, their medical expenses and other governmental handouts. The taxpayers are overburdened and looking for a way to cut costs. Illegal immigrants are a big cost and they broke the law.
Jacoby makes an argument that illegal immigrants may actually be beneficial to our state economy. His assumption is that if cheap labor goes away, companies will go out of business because they cannot compete. Illegal immigrants getting paid illegally under the minimum wage is what keeps Arizona afloat? That is nothing short of ridiculous. Who is going to close their doors because they can't compete? Who are they competing against? Other companies employing illegal cheap labor? Other out-of-state companies that are employing illegal cheap labor? If Arizona companies need to break the law to compete, then maybe they shouldn't be in business. Subsidizing poorly run businesses is not the solution. Having a minimum wage law doesn't help either.
Personally, I don't like SB1070. It was very poorly written and left too much open to interpretation, which is always a bad thing in government. But, I think the concept of the bill was right on. The state must protect the people and the people of Arizona need to be protected against the economic burden of illegal immigrants.