Arizona has become a laboratory for whether a state can single-handedly combat illegal immigration, says the Los Angeles Times. The state has barred illegal immigrants from receiving government services, from winning punitive damages in court, and from posting bail for serious crimes. A new law shuts down businesses that hire illegal workers. The sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix and three-fifths of the state’s population, sends 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 say it’s impossible to find good work and are leaving.
Any business caught hiring illegal immigrants is put on probation. If it is caught doing the same thing again, the state revokes its business license. The only defense for an employer is if it used E-Verify, a federal pilot project to allow businesses to confirm the legality of their laborers. Local law enforcement has drawn complaints about racial profiling. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies and trained volunteers have detained more than 1,000 illegal immigrants, many of whom were stopped for minor infractions and then asked about their immigration status. State legislators this month moved toward passing a law requiring all local police departments to start fighting illegal immigration. “I believe that if you get tough,” Arpaio said, illegal immigrants “will disappear.”