The proposal to punish Indiana businesses that "knowingly employ" illegal immigrants is still alive in the General Assembly. For those who think such a law won't work, consider the Arizona experience:
PHOENIX, Arizona (AFP) — One month after Arizona introduced a law cracking down on businesses which employ illegal immigrants, Latino workers are fleeing the state and companies are laying off employees in droves, officials and activists say.
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The effects of the law have been immediate, according to businessmen, workers and rights activists who spoke to AFP, with companies driving up wages to attract labor while being forced to part company with prized employees.
Incentives work, even negative ones. Companies afraid of losing their licenses quickly start complying, and the illegal workers start looking elsewhere. If anything, Indiana's proposal isn't tough enough. A company would lose its license to do business only after accumulating three violations in 10 years. That's not much of an incentive to change quickly.
But we should also study all the effects -- good and bad -- in Arizona. Illegal immigrants are going to other states or back to Mexico, and some companies are starting to offer higher wages to attract American workers. But that will have a ripple effect, creating higher costs in general.
States are just trying to fill the void left by the federal government's abdication of its responsibilities. It should be obvious that if we really, truly want to "solve" the "problem" of illegal immigration, this is the way to do it. If we take away the reason for them to come here, "border security" becomes less of a problem.