Friday, July 25, 2008

Arizona's Slamming Door on Illegal Immigrants

Interesting story in the Los Angeles Times on how Arizona is in the forefront of stopping illegal immigration at the local level.
Arizona has become a laboratory for whether a state can single-handedly combat illegal immigration. In recent years it has barred illegal immigrants from receiving government services, from winning punitive damages in lawsuits and from posting bail for serious crimes. A new state law shuts down businesses that hire illegal workers. And the sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and three-fifths of the state’s population, dispatches his deputies and volunteer “posses” to search for illegal street vendors or immigrants being smuggled through the county.

The campaign has had an effect: Illegal immigrants complain it’s impossible to find good work and are leaving the state....businesses that cater to immigrants both legal and illegal report a huge drop in sales....enough immigrants have left that the government of Sonora, the Mexican state bordering Arizona, has complained about how many people have arrived on its doorstep.

Rep. Pearce says the overall effect has been undeniably positive for Arizona. “Smaller class sizes, shorter emergency room waits,” he said. “Even if [illegal immigrants] are paying taxes – and most of them aren’t – the cost to taxpayers is huge.”
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