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by Peter Moskos

June 9, 2010

Hispanics leave Arizona ahead of immigration law

So says USA Today.

The governor said, "If that means that fewer people are breaking the law, that is absolutely an accomplishment." The good news is that at least one of the criminals--I mean business owner--plans to move to New York City.

It would be nice if the aftermath of this law could to be analyzed rationally and people actually listened to the facts. But I doubt it.

If crime goes down (rate, not numbers) and the economy improved, I would certainly admit I was wrong about that. So let's see. But to me this isn't primarily about crime (though I think the crime rate will go up). It is about humanity and the economy (and in NYC, terrorism).

Let me gaze into my crystal ball... I look at Arizona and see crime going up and anti-immigrant people calling for even more stringent anti-immigrant laws. I see the local economy going down while those on the right change the subject, blame Obama, call for more prisons, and talk about the importance of sending a messages to these immigrant criminals.

This would not be the first time that the idea of "sending a message" outweighs common sense and good policy.

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