This law does nothing to secure the border. Moreover, contrary to popular belief, illegal immigration is down significantly. It peaked in 2000 and is down both nationally and in Arizona. From 2008–09, 1.2 million illegal immigrants left the U.S., including more than 100,000 in Arizona alone. The number of aliens caught trying to cross the border last year reached a 35-year low, according to DHS figures. The decline is partly the result of better enforcement, but the poor economy is probably a bigger factor. (Crime is also down across the country, and in Arizona it’s gone down more than it has nationally — at the very time that illegal immigration was increasing.) If conservatives really want to stop illegal immigration, we’re going to have to figure out a way either to shrink our economy on a permanent basis so that we don’t need manual laborers and service workers — something I’m convinced groups like FAIR and Numbers USA would have no trouble accepting in return for a smaller U.S. population — or we’re going to have to come up with a reasonable, market-based immigration system to allow more people to come here legally to work. Harassing illegal immigrants — as wells as U.S. citizens or legal residents who some government bureaucrat or bad-apple cop decides look like they might be illegal aliens — isn’t going to solve the immigration problem.
Read the top of Chavez’s post at National Review for an explanation as to how the law really is an infringement of civil liberties and expansion of state power.