Immigration Enforcement Shifting to Cities and States

The San Jose Mercury News tries hard to paint this as a negative:

The collapse of congressional efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is expected to dramatically accelerate an effort by state and local governments to take matters into their own hands to deal with the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.

The result, advocates on both sides of the issue say, could be a patchwork of laws and ordinances with vastly different approaches, ranging from measures that harshly penalize illegal immigrants and their employers to the spread of "sanctuary cities" that prohibit police from questioning suspects about their immigration status.

"There's going to be a barrage of local laws dealing with immigration policy," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a leading sponsor of a White House-backed immigration bill that stalled in the Senate this week. "In some areas of the country, it will be sanctuary. In other areas of the country, if you look at someone who looks illegal, you can lose your business license."

Personally, I think this is what federalism is all about. If a state wants to get tough on illegals, great! If a state wants to be lenient, well, they can handle all the problems and costs of illegals without bothering the other states.

Of course, one can hope that a future administration will start penalizing "sanctuary cities" and states, but for now, just letting them bear the burden is good enough for me.