AZ Treasurer Wants to Build “Tent City” to Facilitate Mass Detention of Immigrants

Treasurer Dean Martin

Part of the perversity of stringent immigrant clampdowns is that not only do they have few-to-negative benefits, but the costs of implementing and enforcing these rules can be quite high. Jurisdictions that are looking to purge themselves of undocumented immigrants are expending resources on hurting their local economy that could be put to constructive ends.

Which is how you wind up with Arizona’s State Treasurer calling for the construction of outdoor prison camps in order to make the budget work while maintaining the immigrant-bashing cred he needs to run for governor as a Republican:

Arizona state Treasurer Dean Martin, a Republican candidate for governor, called on Tuesday for the creation of statewide tent cities to house the expected increase in the number of illegal immigrants expected to be arrested under the state’s controversial new immigration law. […]

His proposal is in response to growing concerns in Arizona that the cash-strapped state cannot afford to enforce the new immigration law that goes into effect next month.

Shades of Andersonville. Meanwhile, though high levels of immigration are beneficial to the immigrants and to most native-born workers, it is true that a minority of native-born Americans—primarily those who lack a high school degree—suffer economically because of mass immigration. But rather than expending scarce resources on outdoor prison camps, it would make much more sense for politicians concerned about these impacts to expend the resources on programs that help people.