Attrition Through Enforcement Marches On

By Mark Krikorian on April 20, 2010

The Arizona Senate yesterday approved the final House version of an immigration bill, sending it to the governor for her signature (which is expected, though she hasn't committed to it yet). The bill describes its intent this way:

The legislature finds that there is a compelling interest in the cooperative enforcement of federal immigration laws throughout all of Arizona. The legislature declares that the intent of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state and local government agencies in Arizona. The provisions of this act are intended to work together to discourage and deter the unlawful entry and presence of aliens and economic activity by persons unlawfully present in the United States.

It does this mainly by making things into state offenses that are already federal offenses, such as an alien not registering with the government (8 USC 1306a) — i.e., being an illegal alien. It would allow police to detain people where there is a "reasonable suspicion" that they're illegal aliens. It also prohibits sanctuary cities (already prohibited at the federal level, 8 USC 1373) and allows citizens to sue any such jurisdiction.

All this is really just common sense and builds on an earlier Arizona law requiring all employers to use E-Verify for new hires. Even the state's chamber of commerce acknowledged that the E-Verify bill wasn't as bad as their jeremiads during the debate would have suggested, and the same is true of this one — the left's hysterical charges of a "police state" are nonsense. The New York Times, naturally, goes over the edge in opposing the bill, but what's interesting is the editorial's empirical claim that the measure "would do little to stop illegal immigration." In fact, a paper presented at last weekend's annual meeting of the Population Association of America suggests that the Arizona E-Verify law did, in fact, reduce Arizona's illegal-alien population.

Attrition through enforcement works. Faster, please.