Arizona welcomes refugees but hunts down illegal immigrants

Despite the state of Arizona’s recent proposed anti-illegal immigration law that was severely modified before being passed, Arizona is becoming known as a haven for refugees from war-torn countries like Iraq, Somalia and Myanmar.

The famous Arizona law had dealt with illegal immigrants, but thousands upon thousands of legal immigrants and refugees are welcome in Arizona, and are even given grants to start businesses and buy homes along with free hospital care.

Arizona is in fourth place out of the entire United States when it comes to taking in numbers of refugees per capita, higher than California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

A vice president at the International Rescue Committee, a refugee settlement organization, told the New York Times this week that,  “In the degree of welcome and receptivity we see, I would certainly put Arizona at the top.” Before the recession there were many jobs available for non and poorly English speaking immigrants or refugees, including child care, house cleaning and landscaping jobs.

Arizona State Senator and critic of illegal immigration Russell Pearce also told the New York Times that, “We’re not anti-immigrant – never have been. But we expect people to follow the law.”

Last year Arizona welcomed almost 5,000 refugees, but is expected to contain almost 400,000 illegal immigrants.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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