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Illegal Immigration Issue Hits Minnesota While Bill Moves Through Congress

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As Congress attempts to push a controversial immigration bill through Capitol Hill, the issue of illegal immigration came to the forefront in Minnesota this week. More than two-dozen individuals in a prostitution ring were indicted on Monday by federal authorities after arrests made over the weekend. The indictment claims females were brought to Minnesota from Central America—many of whom were illegal immigrants. The defendants were charged with several counts, including conspiracy and various federal criminal statutes originating under the Commerce Clause.

The arrests were made in primarily Hispanic neighborhoods in the Twin Cities by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) wing of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—arrests that later engendered protests against ICE by some members of the Hispanic community.

Minnesotans en masse, however, have largely been supportive of law and order measures in dealing with the nation's illegal immigration problem. In a survey taken a year ago, when the talk of amnesty came to Capitol Hill, nearly three times as many Minnesotans believed it was more important to control the border first (65 percent) rather than debate new rules for immigration (23 percent) (Rasmussen, April 2006).

In fact, even though any child born in the United States is eligible to become a U.S. citizen—regardless of the citizenship status of his parents—nearly twice as many Minnesotans believe a child borne of a women who enters the United States as an illegal alien should not be given automatic citizenship (56 to 29 percent) (Rasmussen, April 2006).

In the meantime, the state and the country waits to see whether or not new legislation in Congress that establishes a 'pathway to citizenship' for illegal immigrants becomes law in the coming months.

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Remains of the Data

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Political Crumbs

Evolving?

When Scott Walker "punted" back in February after being asked if he was comfortable with the idea of evolution he added, "That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in one way or the other." However, it may very well be a question that is asked at one of the upcoming GOP debates this year. In South Carolina during the first GOP debate in 2012, FOX News' Juan Williams asked Tim Pawlenty, "Do you equate the teaching of creationism with the teaching of evolution as the basis for what should be taught for our nation's schools?" Pawlenty replied, "There should be room in the curriculum for study of intelligent design" but that it was up to the local school districts if it should be in a science class or comparative theory class. At the fourth Republican debate held in California, Jon Huntsman addressed the GOP becoming "anti-science" thusly: "Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I'm saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can't run from science. We can't run from mainstream conservative philosophy."


73 Months and Counting

January's preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show Minnesota's unemployment rate of 3.7 percent was once again lower than Wisconsin's 5.0 percent. That marks the 73rd consecutive month in which Minnesota has boasted a lower jobless rate than its neighbor to the east dating back to January 2009 including each of the last 67 months by at least one point. The Gopher State has now edged Wisconsin in the employment border battle for 204 of the last 216 months dating back to February 1997. Wisconsin only managed a lower unemployment rate than Minnesota for the 12 months of 2008 during this 18-year span.


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