State-By-State Immigration Policy Changes Ahead
NEAL CONAN, host:
This is TALK OF THE NATION. Im Neal Conan in Washington.
Since Arizona passed a controversial immigration law in April, legislatures in several other states have taken up similar measures, and not only border states. South Carolina, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Michigan, all are considering Arizona-style laws.
In the first few months of this year, 45 states introduced over 1,000 bills and resolutions relating to immigrants and refugees. Several towns have adopted measures that make it a crime to hire an illegal immigrant or rent one a room, and some cities have sanctuary laws that prohibit police from asking about immigration status.
Clearly, many state and local governments don't want to wait for Washington and are taking immigration into their own hands.
Later in the hour, the FDA and the nearly 30-year-old ban on blood donations by gay men. But first, state and local laws on immigration. What's happening where you live? What do you want to see happen? Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email us, email@example.com. You can also join the conversation on our website. Thats at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION.
We begin with Daryl Metcalfe, who represents Pennsylvania's 12th Legislative District in Butler County, and he joins us from his office in Harrisburg. Nice to have you with us on the program today.
State Representative DARYL METCALFE (Republican, Pennsylvania): Thank you for having me, Neal.
CONAN: And you introduced a measure to tackle illegal immigration in May. Is it fair to say it's similar to the law in Arizona?
State Rep. METCALFE: That's correct, sir. We've actually modeled our legislation after the Arizona law that's been passed. Arizona had previously passed some changes to their law dealing with the illegal alien issue to require when public benefits are dispensed that they actually use the SAVE system, a federal system that checks the verification of eligibility.
They also have required their employers to use E-Verify to try and determine whether or not they have are giving, you know, good Social Security numbers when they're applying for employment, they're giving the correct Social Security numbers. So we've also included in this legislation those measures that were already passed in Arizona's previous legal changes to their law, but we've modeled this bill after Arizona's most recent legislation, also.
CONAN: Arizona of course is right on the border and at the epicenter of the immigration problem, Pennsylvania some distance away. Why do you feel the need for this law?
State Rep. METCALFE: Well, when I was serving in the United States Army and stationed in El Paso, of course back in the early '80s, the problem along the border with the illegal aliens that came into the United States was clearly recognized at that time by border states along the southern border.
I think now in 2010, especially after 9/11 back in 2001, I think many citizens across the United States have recognized the need for increasing our security as a nation for ensuring that the lives and property of our citizens are protected.
And right now, the illegal alien issue has reached such a huge magnitude, with hundreds of thousands coming across the border every year and with millions of illegal aliens here in our border, not only a threat to the economic stability through the loss of jobs because wages are being undermined by illegal aliens cutting in on some of the jobs, taking illegal jobs, tapping into our public benefits, but with the national security risk that we have present because you have all this cover that's provided by illegal aliens that terrorists can come in under through our very porous borders.
So it's a national security issue. It's an issue for every citizen, whether you live in Pennsylvania, Alaska, Hawaii or Texas or Arizona, that we're paying for it as taxpayers out of our pocket because of the incarceration of illegals in our federal prison system.
We're paying for it out of pockets because of the public benefits, the education, the health care that's being dispensed to people who shouldn't be here in our country. And many, unfortunately, have paid for it because they have lost their lives at the hands of an illegal alien who has murdered them or had some other horrific crime committed, ranging from theft to rape.
CONAN: I'm sure there are terrible incidents, but you know across the country, crime rates, according to the FBI, are way down. I mean, one is too many, but crime rates are way down.
State Rep. METCALFE: Well, it's way down unless you're the family that lost a loved one to the hands of somebody who shouldn't have been in our country to begin with and that clearly could've been prevented because that person wasn't wouldn't have been in our country if we actually had our government doing their duty and our federal government doing what they're supposed to according to the federal Constitution, under Article IV, Section 4, which is protecting the states from invasion, which is, when you have hundreds of thousands of people coming across our border every year, I don't think you can call that anything less than an invasion.
CONAN: This is, as you mentioned, federal domain. Do you think every state should have its own foreign policy?
State Rep. METCALFE: Well, it's not a matter of foreign policy. It's a matter of once we have individuals presents within our states that are a threat to the lives and liberty and property of our individual citizens, that each of us as elected officials who raise our hands also and swear to uphold and defend the Constitution, both as a state elected official, our United States Constitution and our state Constitution, I have a duty to protect Pennsylvania citizens from the harmful impact of the illegal alien invasion.
So it's important that we use the full force of our state's sovereignty and our state's law to ensure that our protected, and that's what we're trying to do by modeling legislation after what Arizona has done to protect their citizens.
CONAN: And what do you see at this point as the prospects of success, as passage?
State Rep. METCALFE: We've passed some small changes in our law here in the past. We've got more that are kind of cooking and on the front burner, that we just passed out of the House to the Senate, going after state contracts, you know, state contractors, to ensure they're using people who are here legally.
CONAN: E-Verify and that sort of thing.
State Rep. METCALFE: Right, to require them to use E-Verify and also of those who are working construction jobs. So we're taking some small steps in Pennsylvania, not the steps that I'd like to see us take as quickly as I'd like to see us take them, but we are making forward gains. And I am working with legislators across the country through a group that I founded about four years ago, called statelegislatorsforlegalimmigration.com, that's statelegislatorsforlegalimmigration.com.
And we're joining states together through statelegislatorsforlegalimmigration.com. We have 37 states represented by state legislators that are joining with us right now to try and put together model legislation, to network, to work together, to call upon the federal government to work with us, not against us, to really bring an end to this problem that's harming citizens across the country.
CONAN: As you know, the governor there, Ed Rendell, said if it's an Arizona-like law passes the state legislature, he'll veto it.
State Rep. METCALFE: He has said that, and Governor Rendell, through the seven years that I've worked with the governor, some days he says one thing and does another. We're in budget debates right now, and it's hard to get a handle on where the governor is coming from sometimes because he surprised a lot of people.
I know he's been the most liberal, gun-grabbing governor that we've had in a long time here in Pennsylvania, but he's in fact signed legislation I've passed through the legislature in the past that actually expanded the rights of law-abiding citizens regarding the right to bear arms.
So some days, the governor says one thing. The next day, he'll do another. So our objective is to actually pass it through the legislature, put on the governor's desk, whether it's Governor Rendell this year or our new governor next year.
CONAN: Well, Daryl Metcalfe, good luck to you. Thanks very much for your being with us.
State Rep. METCALFE: Thank you, sir. Thanks for the opportunity. Have a great day.
CONAN: Daryl Metcalfe is a representative in Pennsylvania, represents the 12th Legislative District in Butler County, with us there from his office in Harrisburg.
Joining us here in Washington, D.C., in Studio 3A, is Ann Morse, director of the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures. That organization recently published their quarterly report on immigration-related bills and resolutions in state legislatures, and she joins us here in the studio. Thanks very much for coming in today.
Ms. ANN MORSE (Director, Immigrant Police Project, National Conference of State Legislatures): Thanks for inviting. Thank you.
CONAN: And Pennsylvania, as Daryl Metcalfe suggested, hardly alone here.
Ms. MORSE: Well, NCSL is a bipartisan organization that's been tracking state legislation in this area for several years, and we've seen an unprecedented increase in interest in bills related to immigration and immigrants.
We looked back to 2005 and found 300 bills introduced. The following year, activity doubled to more than 1,000, and the following year, it tripled to more than 1,500.
So I'd like to point out that this issue is something of interest to every state in the country. Every state that was in regular session has had bills considered, and it is not directed only at illegal immigration but also at refugees, migrants and legal immigrants.
And it's not only against law-enforcement kinds of policies but also looking at education, employment, human trafficking, public benefits, health care, virtually the whole gamut of what a state legislature might consider.
CONAN: And would it be fair to say - I mean, that's a broad range of issues. Are they do these bills uniformly seek to restrict immigration?
Ms. MORSE: The bills try to cover a whole range of integration-to-enforcement spectrum. I think they are trying to extend benefits to legal immigrants who might need occasional help. They're also trying to attack one particular kind of problem, such as guns or trafficking of humans or identity theft.
I think states are trying to identify the particular challenges in their states and trying to address that within the parameters and tools that they have.
CONAN: Obviously, Arizona on the border, but it does seem unusual for states like Pennsylvania, we just heard, not on the border, to be trying to legislate those kinds of similar kinds of laws.
Ms. MORSE: Well, as I mentioned, immigration is really a 50-state issue now. It's not only the large states, the Californias, Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey. It is something that touches every single state in the country with a range of challenges and opportunities in managing foreign workers and in trying to deter illegal immigration.
This is an area where we clearly need a better partnership with the federal government, who has walked away from their assistance to states and not dealt with this problem of comprehensive immigration reform since 1986. The system is, frankly, broken, and we need to address it.
CONAN: We want to hear from you, as well, today. What is going on where you live in terms of immigration law? What do you want to see go on? 800-989-8255. Richard(ph) joins us from Red Bluff in California.
RICHARD (Caller): Hi. I do safety training for farm workers, and I also worked with farm workers all my life, and I probably deal with a couple thousand people a day I mean a year, excuse me.
And they are all very good workers. And I kind of think in a way, some parts of this immigration reform are going about it reverse because a lot of states are asking for employer sanctions to hire the illegals.
And I think it should be the other way around. I think the people that are working should be the people that should be able to stay here. I know growers that have had people that worked for them for years, and they find out they're illegal. They would love to be able to help them get citizenship, but they know if they try to help them, then they're likely to get sanctions and fined for doing it.
CONAN: What about the laws that would require employers to check on that E-Verify, the Social Security numbers, to make sure they're kosher?
RICHARD: Well, for one thing, there wouldn't be enough farm workers. But the other thing is, a lot of these workers have been working for years. You know, some of them are foremen, tractor drivers. You know, they're very experienced workers. And they're already here. They're already working.
And so, you know, and like the people in the meat-processing plants and whatnot, where they're taking the people that are working, most of them paying taxes. They have families here. And they're the ones that are getting sent back because it's easy to get to them. And the ones that are you know, what I think they should do is let the ones that have been here and working stay here and then concentrate on the people that are selling drugs and gangs.
CONAN: All right, Richard, thanks very much for the call, appreciate it.
RICHARD: Okay, thank you.
CONAN: We'd like to hear from you, as well. What's happening with immigration law where you live, and what would you like to see happen? Give us a call, 800-989-8255. Email us, firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay with us. I'm Neal Conan. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.
(Soundbite of music)
CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION. Im Neal Conan in Washington.
Immigration policy is the responsibility of the federal government, but as we're hearing today, more and more states and local governments aren't waiting for Washington to address illegal immigration.
They're taking their issue into their own hands. Arizona is just one, though very high profile, example. Dozens of other states have taken up proposals this year, cracking down on or giving help to illegal immigrants.
What's happening where you live? What would you like to see happen? 800-989-8255. Email us, email@example.com. You can also join the conversation on our website. Thats at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION.
Our guest is Ann Morse, who directs the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures. They recently released their quarterly report on immigration-related bills and resolutions in state legislatures. You can find a link to that report at npr.org, if you just click on TALK OF THE NATION.
Let's get another caller on the line. David's(ph) calling from Tucson.
DAVID (Caller): Yes, I have a concern about the Arizona law - that it's bringing out the worse in many people. Letters to the editors and blogs, you see a lot of racist comments. There seems to be almost like there's panic and fear every place the not every place, but you see this in a lot of the letters to the editor being written.
The governor of Arizona is saying that all illegals are smuggling drugs, and law enforcement people say that's not the truth. It just isn't the case.
CONAN: The law in Arizona takes effect about a month from now, correct?
DAVID: That's correct. And there was a TV station, a week or so ago that interviewed a neo-Nazi who wants to put landmines along the border, just as an example of the extreme things that are being brought out in people.
And if, you know, these laws, they're popping up all over the country now, people advocating them, and I think it's just bringing out the worst in our society in many ways.
CONAN: All right, David, thank you very much for the call - appreciate it. Let me ask you, Ann Morse, there is you're an expert on state legislatures and immigration laws. This may not be your area. But there has, of course, been recourse to federal court to get a stay, an injunction that would postpone the effect of this Arizona law until after the federal court case is heard. Do you know the prospect of that, where it is right now?
Ms. MORSE: The latest I heard was that they had filed for a preliminary injunction to hold on until the full lawsuit could be heard, and I don't know where that stands right now.
We had heard the Supreme Court will take up an earlier Arizona law related to E-Verify, which is an interesting area because this is something within the federal law which created a six word exemption for states to enact laws related to licensing and similar laws.
It's important to note here that states had acted before the federal government when the federal government passed this 1986 employer sanctions law.
CONAN: Here's some emails. This is from Bradley(ph) in Pittsboro, North Carolina. What I find unfortunate about this debate is that it's based on emotion, not fact. We had no problem with illegals when we wanted cheap houses, but now that the housing boom is bust, we are passing these laws. We are a nation of immigrants.
Shimone(ph) in Provo, Utah, writes: why is it that every other country has very strict immigration laws, i.e., Switzerland, et cetera? Other countries, it is leave or go to jail. This is even true in Mexico.
Would that be accurate, do you think?
Ms. MORSE: I believe Mexico had recently changed its laws to be more in accord with the U.S. treats its immigrants. I think the challenge that we're facing here is that we have a long-standing border migration that is not new to the United States and Mexico. It's been a situation where there are now very few visas where people can come lawfully, and so that's the thing that needs to be fixed.
CONAN: And an email from San Bruno in California about our previous guest, and Mr. Metcalfe kept talking about the immigrant invasion crime spree, as if most crimes in the U.S. are committed by illegal immigrants. I think immigrants should enter the U.S. through legal means, but since most crimes are committed by citizens, I think this crime spree angle isn't very relevant.
Let's go next to Jerry(ph), Jerry with us from Cookeville in Tennessee.
JERRY (Caller): Hello.
JERRY: Yeah, hey. The deal with the immigration here in Tennessee, I believe next year, when there's going to be a new governor, and it looks like it'll probably be a Republican governor, I think that they're going to model after Arizona, myself.
And you had the one caller from Tucson, and it was like for that neo-Nazi, I mean, you can't hold a governor responsible because of what some neo-Nazi says, no more than we can hold President Obama responsible for what Jeremiah Wright says. So I just find that, you know, kind of out of line.
But something else, now, we're going to have a man that's going to be the head guy at the immigration, his last name is Hurtt, Herald Hurtt, I believe, is his name. And he is for sanctuary cities. He's released criminals back on the streets. In fact, one winded up killing a Houston police officer.
And the president has said that just last month, that we in the 21st century, we are no longer a nation of borders. And I just found that amazing, you know, to hear the president say that we're no longer a nation of borders in the 21st century.
CONAN: Well, let me ask about other I'm not sure of your facts there, but let me there are certainly and let me ask Ann Morse about this sanctuary cities. There are places in the country which say, as Arizona would now direct police officers, require them to ask about immigration status if they think somebody is here illegally. There are places in the country which direct their police officers, say you cannot do that.
Ms. MORSE: It's another area where cities are testing the law, and it's not something I can speak to directly, as representing state government. This is something that - another challenge that arise out of United States foreign policy, and states are left trying to grapple with the results of that in their own communities.
CONAN: Jerry(ph), we'll check on your facts there, about this the gentleman's name again is?
JERRY: I believe it is Harold I believe it's Harold, and the last name is Hurtt, H-U-R-T-T, I believe it is. And I believe he was the former chief of police in Houston.
CONAN: Okay, well, we'll find out about that. Thanks very much for the call, appreciate it. Let's go next to this is Jen(ph), and Jen's with us from Fort Wayne.
JEN (Caller): Hi, thank you so much for taking my call. Fort Wayne, Indiana, has, I believe, the biggest community of Burmese refugees from the country currently known as Myanmar, in the country. And we had a recent incident with a refugee who - in this community, I - apparently there is a tradition of chewing betel nuts and spitting the juice.
JEN: A local Laundromat put up a sign saying that Burmese were not welcome because of sanitary reasons, and I was just astounded by the response from the community.
Unfortunately, we had people who just were didn't seem to understand the difference between different kinds of immigration and who's here legally and who isn't.
Writing letters to the editor, as the previous caller mentioned, especially on the website, posting things that just really offended me. And I'm just concerned for the people who are here legally, in particular in light of what your first caller was saying.
I don't really like the term illegal aliens. I think it just cuts us up too much. And I'd be interested in hearing we haven't really had much of a legal focus in our state. We've been more concerned about budget deficits. So I'd be interested in hearing about people that are being affected who are here legally and are welcomed, and in this case, invited by the government.
CONAN: The Burmese she mentions in Fort Wayne, or the Hmong in Minnesota. Ann Morse?
Ms. MORSE: Oh, I think the caller raises a really important point. It's something we have not looked at is refugee immigrant integration. The refugee program in the United States is very successful. It puts money into helping assure that these people who are invited here to stay overcome some of the cultural and language barriers and are able to be contributors both to the economy and to society, and it's something we need to think about more broadly for all immigrants.
CONAN: And are is the legislation, any of the legislation, directed towards these legal migrants?
Ms. MORSE: A number of states actually have looked at naturalization assistance and civic engagement to bring, make sure that the people who are working with us, are able to contribute to their civic society, and we really hope that that continues in the future.
CONAN: Okay. Jen, thanks very much.
JEN (Caller): Thank you, always love the show.
CONAN: Oh, thank you very much for that, too. Let's see if we can go here's an email from Luke(ph). Hello, why crack down on some poor guy who's coming to the U.S. looking for work when the only reason they come is because some crooked businesses are willing to hire them. Why don't we get serious about employer accountability, revoke a few business licenses, throw a few owners in prison, and I doubt you'll have an immigration for long. No jobs for illegals, equals no more illegals.
And a lot of the legislation is directed specifically at that target, isn't it?
Ms. MORSE: When I look at the legislation, what I see is that states are trying to find any mechanism they have to deal with this challenge. And I feel a little bit employers being between a rock and a hard place.
What we have is the E-Verify system, which was a pilot program that is now being asked to do more than originally intended, and with it is some growing pains. The pieces that are missing is that you can't prove your identity when you come in and use a certain Social Security number.
So they may be following everything they can and still be found to be hiring unauthorized immigrants. Virginia, I think, was a really good state, where they considered a number of bills and finally narrowed it down with a number of employer associations to find something that would work for them.
CONAN: Employers say, why is it our business to verify that somebody is here illegally? That's the - legally or illegally. That's the government's job.
Ms. MORSE: There are a lot of fraudulent documents out there. It's hard for employers to keep up.
CONAN: And either if I - if it should be expanded and made more accurate, that might solve the problem.
Ms. MORSE: I think E-Verify is a very good solution and needs some - a little bit more work.
CONAN: And it's not a requirement, except in some places and some certain situations - government contractors, for example, are required to use it.
Ms. MORSE: Correct.
CONAN: All right. Thanks very much. Let's see if we can go next to - this is Tom, Tom with us from Detroit.
TOM (Caller): Hi, Neal. Good to talk to you.
CONAN: Thank you.
TOM: One part of the argument I never see made by anybody, you know, a state or a federal level, is at some point we have to close the borders - either you close them at 300 million people or you close them at a billion. You can't keep subsidizing the system here with more people. It doesn't work. You know, we'll have an overpopulation problem like China or India. And why doesn't anybody ever make that argument?
CONAN: Is - well, you're dealing with the laws, Ann Morse, you're not dealing with - is that part of the rationale that you see?
Ms. MORSE: That is not something I've heard within state legislatures, but I think it would be interesting to hear more from researchers who are looking at circular migration, where we have people, for a short period of time, who then return home and help the economies in their countries of origin.
CONAN: Tom, the - a lot of economists would say that if you don't have more people, you don't have more economic growth.
TOM: I know. But in a finite space, you can't have infinite growth. That's just Math 101.
CONAN: Yet Europe doesn't seem to have a tremendous problem, and we're vastly less densely populated than Europe.
TOM: But I can kind of like it being a little less densely - densely populated. And at some point we're going to bump up against some resource depletion and we're going to be sorry that we have so many people here.
CONAN: All right, Tom, thanks very much for the call. Appreciate it.
TOM: Thank you.
CONAN: Bye-bye. Let's see if we can go next to - this is Jared(ph), Jared with us from Raleigh.
JARED (Caller): Yeah. Hi, how it's going? Thanks for taking my call.
CONAN: Go ahead, please.
JARED: My wife is a legal immigrant from Brazil and she has an interesting point of view. She works at a restaurant with lots of people who are - they employ a lot of illegal people. And from her point of view, she has a hard time getting as many hours as them because they're willing to come in and work off the clock or work longer hours than they're supposed to. So she's talked to a lot of people who are here as legal immigrants and they are having a hard time even competing with the illegal immigrants just because of the things that they are willing to do illegally. They just are undercutting the fair process of working and getting a job. And a lot of people talk about the need for workers and to fill these positions at factories and whatnot. And I think the one thing that's missing out a lot(ph) is just the fairness or unfairness of the current process.
How many people around the world have the same right to come and participate in that American dream and try to live that themselves? But you know, we've got all the people that are really stealing that opportunity for themselves instead of giving us the opportunity to spread that opportunity around to people throughout the world.
CONAN: And that's what a lot of people who sometimes waited for many years or continue to wait for years for legal immigration status complain about, the illegal immigration that goes into the country, that they that they have played by the rules and they're forced to wait, and as Jared suggests, sometimes compete with people who are not in the country legally. Jared, thanks very much for the call. We wish your wife the best of luck.
JARED: Thank you.
CONAN: We're talking about immigration laws in state and local governments. You're listening to TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.
And the trend that you're seeing, this explosion of laws, Ann Morse, is there any way that this is going to stop, do you think?
Ms. MORSE: Once federal legislation happens, we hope...
CONAN: If everybody agrees with it. I mean, the problem is, there are laws that people who disagree with - you know, people will write laws one way or the other no matter whether they agree with it or not.
Ms. MORSE: I think there will be continued state interest and activity in immigration, just because it touches on so many policy arenas that affect the state within its borders. We definitely need to have federal authority over admissions and deportations and are making sure that people are following the legal immigration laws on the books. But where states will have to do is collaborate with federal government in many of these areas, including law enforcement verification and educating and providing language access for certain groups so that they can succeed.
CONAN: Let's go next to Brian, Brian with us from Yuma, Arizona.
BRIAN (Caller): Good morning.
CONAN: Good afternoon where we are, but go ahead.
BRIAN: (Unintelligible). You know, Yuma down here is kind of a twilight zone with this whole immigration thing that comes on. I was a passport acceptance agent for the Postal Service for the last few years of my career before I retired. And of course those are all Americans that are getting passports and so forth. But most of the people that come across the border who work here simply want to make a few dollars. A vast majority of them are doing seed money to start businesses back home.
And to reiterate on an email that you received and read earlier, the true way to stop all of this is through the employers. They're not going to stop. I don't care how many laws you make. I don't care how you think you want to empower the police. It's just not going to happen until you stop the urge to come over and we are the land of golden streets, if you will. You need to do this through employment, by stopping illegal employment.
CONAN: We had a caller earlier from Tucson who talked about the climate of fear and said that in his belief this was bring out some of the worst in people. I wonder whether you see that in Yuma.
BRIAN: I don't. We kind of joke down here that the official language is Spanglish. We are very integrated. And if you move a little bit - Yuma is not right on the border. We are probably about 20 miles from the border. If you move right down to the town of San Luis, Arizona, which is right on the border - in fact, the sister town of San Luis, Sonora - you can't hardly tell that it's a U.S. city. But likewise, we have also integrated across the border to -in the towns over there. English is very prevalent and so forth.
It's a very, very integrated culture down here, and people aren't afraid. Is there drug issues? Yes. They get tons of drug issues. There are lots of problems along these lines. These are the ports for which all that kind of trouble comes through. But all in all, it's not like you need to go around packing weapons - although in Arizona, you can, but...
BRIAN: ...it's not that kind of climate, not at all.
CONAN: Brian, thanks very much for the call. We appreciate it.
BRIAN: Yes, sir. Thank you.
CONAN: Bye-bye. And we did manage to fact-check that earlier caller. The -Harold Hurtt is the head of local immigration services for ICE, according to the Houston Chronicle. It doesn't verify some of the statements he attributed to Mr. Hurtt, but he is indeed the head of local immigration services for ICE.
And this news bulletin: The Senate committee, the U.S. Armed Services Committee, backed General David Petraeus to head forces in Afghanistan. So that bulletin just in.
Our thanks to Ann Morse for being with us today.
Ms. MORSE: It's a pleasure, Neal. Thank you.
CONAN: Ann Morse is director of the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures and was kind enough to join us here in Studio 3A.
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