Somehow this slipped into today’s AJC article about the looming apocalypse caused by the Illegal Immigration Reform And Enforcement Act of 2011. I suspect Dora Palanco is not the only legal immigrant who feels this way.
Arizona experienced an exodus of immigrants after it enacted a similar law last year. An estimated 100,000 Hispanics, mostly Mexicans, left the state between January and November of last year, partly because of Arizona’s law, according to a report released last year by BBVA Research, which based its findings on U.S. census data.
Dora Polanco has been witnessing a similar exodus from her perch in the ticket booth just off Buford Highway at the El Expreso bus stop in Chamblee. She said some of the Hispanic immigrants who approach her counter are leaving Georgia on buses to New York City, where mass transit is more plentiful.
A native of Costa Rica, Polanco sympathizes with the plight of the immigrants, particularly the ones who tell her they are fearful of returning to Mexico amid the drug violence there. But she is also irritated with people who enter the United States illegally and take advantage of taxpayer-funded resources here, including hospitals. She said she and her husband are both U.S. citizens who work hard and pay their taxes.
“That’s not right when you pay taxes and the others don’t,” said Polanco, who lives in Snellville. “I don’t want this country to be poor like my country.”