The Arizona immigration law is set to go into effect Thursday (unless a judge decides it shouldn't), but it's working already:
The two women are among scores of illegal immigrant families across Phoenix hauling the contents of their homes into the yard this weekend as they rush to sell up and get out before the state law takes effect on Thursday.
The law, the toughest imposed by any U.S. state to curb illegal immigration, seeks to drive more than 400,000 undocumented day laborers, landscapers, house cleaners, chambermaids and other workers out of Arizona, which borders Mexico.
It makes being an illegal immigrant a state crime and requires state and local police, during lawful contact, to investigate the status of anyone they reasonably suspect of being an illegal immigrant.
The U.S. government estimates 100,000 unauthorized migrants left Arizona after the state passed an employer sanctions law three years ago requiring companies to verify workers' status using a federal computer system. There are no figures for the number who have left since the new law passed in April.
Some are heading back to Mexico or to neighboring states. Others are staying put and taking their chances.
In a sign of a gathering exodus, Mexican businesses from grocers and butcher shops to diners and beauty salons have shut their doors in recent weeks as their owners and clients leave.