Showdowns

AZ Needs U.S. Help for Immigration Law

Arizona’s tough new immigration law goes into effect Thursday, but will the state have the muscle to enforce it? Maybe not, says The Wall Street Journal: While state and local officials can arrest and imprison illegal immigrants, only federal officials have the power to deport them. State and local police are required to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement to check the immigration status of detainees; ICE will then let them know if the suspect is deportable. ICE has insisted that it will continue to focus on recent crossings, felony re-entries, and serious criminals. However, in the past, the federal government hasn’t withheld its cooperation: The United States has deported 115,841 illegal immigrants under a federal-local partnership since 2007, and—this is really shocking—nearly a quarter of those, 26,146, have come from a single Arizona county: Maricopa County, home to the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio.