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Bring Back the Carrot

Not too long ago there was a news article that pointed out that Arizona’s policy of cracking down, and cracking down hard, on employers was having a positive impact on reducing the number of illegal immigrants working in the state:

Two months after Arizona enacted a law punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants, the law is already achieving one of its goals: Scores of immigrants are fleeing to other states or back to their Latin American homelands.

Gaby Espinoza, who has been unemployed since November, is among those affected. She gave up looking for a job because of the law and may have to return to Mexico.

Now, it looks like certain special interest business groups are on the verge of successfully reversing the progress that has been made:

Business groups succeeded in getting the bill to narrow the employees to whom the law applies and to create protections for employers who make good-faith efforts to follow the rules. Even so, they don’t think the state should have its own employer sanctions because they said cracking down on illegal hirings is the responsibility of the federal government.

The original law, which took effect in January, was intended to lessen the economic incentive for foreign workers to sneak into Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point along the nation’s southern border. An estimated one in 10 workers in Arizona is an illegal immigrant.

Personally, I think the state should hold strong and continue to back a policy that was making a difference. To argue that this is a federal government problem is ridiculous. Too many businesses are willing to look the other way in order to pad their bottom line, and that’s not just not right.