Stringent Immigration Laws Backfiring

Arizona’s experimentation in tough anti-‘illegal’ immigration law seems to have backfired as the very politicians who voted for tough sanctions against employers that hire undocumented workers are now proposing a state guestworker program to draw undocumented immigrants back to the state. Faced with the reality of business outcry due to labor shortages in agriculture, construction, hospitality and other propitious jobs, politicians in Arizona are willing to compromise on importing laborers from Mexico due to the incompetency of federal immigration legislation on guestworkers.

The now-famous Prince Williams County in Virginia may follow suit soon. Along with the $6.9 million annual cost of catching and apprehending undocumented workers, Prince Williams County is losing a significant sales, business and property tax base as undocumented immigrants are leaving the county. Already, the county is softening–now police officers can only interrogate criminal suspects about their immigration status after they are arrested as compared to the more stringent earlier rule that guided law enforcement how to look up criminal records for the residency status of anyone who is detained, no matter how minor the offense.

As more states come down hard on undocumented workers, it shall be interesting to study and document the effects of tough immigration legislation.

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