Combatting Illegal Immigration on the State and Local Level

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 145

By Mark Krikorian and Jessica M. Vaughan on March 7, 2024

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On this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, joins us to discuss what states and other local jurisdictions can do to combat illegal immigration in wake of the Biden administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws. Vaughan joins us from the Western States Sheriffs’ Association convention in Reno, Nev.

Vaughan provides suggestions to states and localities on policies and laws that can be implemented to remove illegal aliens from their jurisdictions and make their communities less attractive to illegal aliens. It’s important for these jurisdictions to take action now to push back on what is happening on the federal level, but it’s also important if we get a new administration that takes immigration enforcement seriously. As Vaughan explains, the federal government can’t properly enforce the immigration law without cooperation from state and local governments.

Certain states have passed state laws that combat illegal immigration. In Texas, the state legislature passed a law that would make illegal immigration to their state a crime, but the law has temporarily been put on hold by the Supreme Court. Vaughan urges states to go after the criminal infrastructure of illegal immigration, like what Florida did by passing tough anti-smuggling legislation.

At the end of the episode, Vaughan shares what she has heard firsthand from sheriffs on how illegal immigration is impacting their communities. They are united in their concerns over public safety and upset that Biden has yet to meet with a sheriff. And this is an issue that is unlikely to improve anytime soon without federal action – Sheriff Mark Dannels of Cochise County, Ariz., which is a border county, says that border-related crime has risen from 5 percent of all crimes in his county to a whopping 44 percent in the last three years.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Jessica Vaughan is the Director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".