The key to solving the country's illegal immigration problem is "attrition through enforcement," according to Kris Kobach, an immigration attorney.

Kobach met with city leaders and concerned citizens Monday in Albertville to offer advice on what steps Albertville needs to take in addressing the city's illegal population.

"There are certain things that cities can do to deal with the burden that illegal immigration imposes on the taxpayers," Kobach said. "And, there are certain things cities can't do.

"I will be advising the city council and the mayor of the city on what their possibilities are and what their options are as far as dealing with the cost illegal immigration has imposed on their taxpayers."

Kobach said those options could range from passing ordinances to seeking legal action.

Kobach would not give any specifics, but he did say he was going to offer city leaders all options available.

"One thing that the Albertville leaders have done, which some other cities have not, is that they have been careful to define the legal possibilities beforehand.

"Some cities will just launch out there and write an ordinance and then realize after the fact the ordinance was worded incorrectly."

He did say that in other cities and states that have passed illegal immigration ordinances the effect has been almost immediate.

He used Arizona as an example of attrition through enforcement, saying once state leaders passed a statute requiring businesses to use the E-Verify system and enforcing the new law, the illegal population almost left immediately.

"That system has had an extraordinary effect," he said.

"That went into effect in Arizona on January 1, 2008. Immediately things began happening.

"Apartment owners across the state, but particularly in Phoenix, said that whole apartment buildings were going empty.

"People were just picking up and leaving the state."

After a closed-door meeting at the Albertville Regional Airport with Albertville Mayor Lindsey Lyons, Albertville City Council President Diane McClendon and Councilman Randy Amos, Kobach spoke at an open conference at the Alabama Aviation Center in Albertville.

About 50 people, including politicians, city leaders, judges and attorneys, attended the event.

Kobach outlined what impact illegal immigration has on the taxpayers of Alabama.

He said the average cost of an illegal family on the welfare system is about $19,000 per family in public aid, such as food stamps or Medicaid.

He said this number takes into account the amount the illegal-headed family may pay into state or federal coffers in taxes.

Kobach said one of the quickest ways to create jobs for Alabamians is to take the jobs away from illegal workers.

"Even the most shovel-ready projects in Washington end up taking about six months to create a job," Kobach said.

"But, there is actually a very simple way to create jobs.

"If you want to create one job tomorrow, you can actually remove an illegal alien today."

He estimated 40,000 illegal workers were employed throughout the state.

Kobach stopped short of saying the city would not incur any cost should they decide to pass an ordinance or enter into a legal battle, but he did say the American Civil Liberties Union, one of the main organizations that initiates litigation when a city passes an anti-immigration ordinance, has had a poor track record of winning cases.

And he said it could cost around $300,000 to defend an ordinance that "triggered ACLU action."

"I think it is unlikely that your city leaders are going to take an action that costs the citizens very much at all," Kobach said.

Kobach was scheduled to end his day addressing the city council during its work session Monday.

One week earlier the council voted 3-2 against a resolution retaining Kobach's services as an attorney.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.