A new rush of illegal immigrants are driving down to Texas from Oklahoma or heading east from Arizona to flee tough new anti-illegal immigrant laws in those and other states, says the Houston Chronicle. The growing exodus is the result of dozens of new state and local laws aimed at curbing illegal immigration. The two toughest measures are in Oklahoma and Arizona. The Oklahoma statute makes it a crime to transport, harbor or hire illegal immigrants. The Arizona law suspends the business license of employers who knowingly hire undocumented workers. On a second offense, the license is revoked.
”It’s a wave that’s happening across the United States,” said Nelson Reyes of the Central American Resource Center in Houston. ”There is a migration, within the United States, to the states and cities more receptive to the reality of the undocumented immigrant.” The influx of undocumented workers into Texas is not welcomed by everyone. Critics say illegal immigrants are taxing government resources, such as hospital emergency rooms and public schools. ”That is not good,” said Larry Youngblood of the Texas Border Volunteers. ”We’ve got about 400,000 to 450,000 in Houston already. And obviously they’re not all day laborers – not all are criminals – but we don’t need more.”