SB 1070 is a state-level border enforcement law in which Arizona took steps to actively enforce federal laws that federal executive policies were, in Arizona's view, failing to enforce.
Many of the more controversial portions of the law were upheld by the Supreme Court. The main part that wasn't upheld was the part that made illegally crossing the border a state-level felony.
Given the proper condition, law enforcement personnel in Arizona can, if reasonable suspicion exists, check on the immigration status of anybody arrested or detained under allegation or suspicion of any other crime.
That is contrary to what many opposed to the law stated in propaganda. People were falsely led to believe that Arizona was allowing police to stop people on the street just because they suspected somebody of being in the country illegally. That, as it turns out, is not the case. Arizona has not yet set up police checkpoints at its border such as California has.
Illegal immigration costs taxpayers in and businesses in border states an estimated $1.6 Billion a year. Here is an excerpt from a letter circulated by Gov. Brewer:
I’ve launched this fundraising drive to ensure that border security is the number one priority in America’s immigration system. Our illegal immigration problem can’t be fixed until our southern border is finally secured. States like Arizona simply can’t continue to afford the $1.6 billion in costs associated with illegal immigration, including the increased health care costs, education and incarceration of illegal aliens.
Please chip-in right now to help us secure our nation’s borders! If donating by check, please make it payable to "Jan PAC" and mail to Jan PAC, P.O. Box 3798, Phoenix, AZ 85030.Thank you for your continued support.Jan Brewer
The state level laws had consequences. Many other states, to include Texas, a fellow border state, have passed similar laws.
The Texas Legislature passed a resolution to send a bill to the US Government for reimbursement of some of the state's costs. SCR 6 bills the Obama Administration for $221,600,000.00.
Texas may soon pass a law to assist in combating human trafficking directed at smuggling children as sex slaves.
The Texas legislature also entertained two bills similar to portions of SB 1070. HB 2187 mandates that law enforcement officers check the immigration status of anybody arrested and booked for another offense. HB 2301 mandates the use of E-Verify by all employers to include government contractors in determining immigration status and eligibility.
Other states such as Georgia have enacted similar laws. These laws reportedly reduced the population of illegal immigrants (through dislocation or self-deportation) in the states that enacted such laws. This is despite a perceived reluctance of the federal government to enforce the federal laws. The state level laws in addition to the stagnate economy and poor employment market may better explain the alleged drop in illegal crossings reported by federal statistics.
The federal government and the so-called "Gang of 8" can take a few cues from the state-level laws. Much debate is echoing over a "path to citizenship", "amnesty", or some form of permanent resident status. These quibbles are putting the cart before the horse.
Any immigration reform must first start with securing the borders. That should include allowing law-abiding citizens living near the border to protect their land. That would make entering private property more hazardous to trespassing illegal immigrants.
Those "coyotes" (human traffickers), slave traders, drug smugglers, and gun runners who cross these areas are nothing less than armed invasion forces. They are known to enable terrorists to infiltrate our country as well. One of the intents of the Second Amendment is to allow free citizens to form irregular militia to guard and protect private property from armed foreign invaders.
In addition, a federal law mandating employers to use E-Verify or a similar system would make employment tougher for illegals to acquire. This would deter many from making the trip in the first place.
Enabling local law enforcement personnel to screen, arrest, and process illegal immigrants would bolster border security.
Only after putting that horse in front of the cart can any program, process, or form of immigration reform take place. Before looking at a plan to deal with the illegals that have been in the US over 10 years and their natural born family members, legislators need to streamline the process for those wishing to immigrate legally. The visa system is broken and full of red tape. For example, the notification system regarding visa expiration or extension disapproval many times fails to inform those who lawfully entered the country of their status in a timely manner.
After streamlining and reforming the legal immigration process and securing the borders, a plan that does not include amnesty can be discussed, debated, and passed.