The Boston Globe has a report on the bill passed by the Massachusetts State Senate that would "toughen or expand rules that bar illegal immigrants from public health care, housing, and higher education benefits." It would also establish a 24-hour anonymous hotline where callers could "report illegal immigrants or companies that employ them to the government."
The Globe notes it's quite a turnaround for the Bay State, which not so long ago "even sent social workers to Texas to check on immigrants who may have been separated from their children."
An overly generous welfare state is, of course, the catch for those of us who believe that immigration is a good thing and the more immigrants the better. Still, there's something vaguely unsettling about encouraging people to call anonymous hotlines to report their neighbors to the government -- it seems more like something out of the Kremlin than Beacon Hill.
In general we're all for the laboratory of the states, but the immigration issue, involving as it does the very question of American citizenship and the nation's borders, seems like one where some national leadership is needed beyond President Obama's recent announcement that he is sending 1,200 National Guard troops to the Mexican border.
Oh, by the way, the Massachusetts State Senate that approved the bill by a 28-10 vote has 35 Democrats and 5 Republicans. All five Republicans voted for it, but so did 23 Democrats, who should all be required to read the book by John F. Kennedy that isn't Profiles in Courage.
Thanks to reader-community member-content co-creator-partner-participant A. for the tip.