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The Arizona state legislature passed a new law (SB 1070) that makes being in the state illegally a state crime..

Police will now be allowed to stop anyone in the state and ask them to prove they are in the state legally.

Enterprising members of border county governments have suggested establishing a state passport program.

"We could issue state passports allowing people to be legally in the state, and charge for this service," said Shirley Sinagua, member of the Kokopelli County Board of Supervisors.

"At $50 a person, we could balance our county budget," she added.

The county would station Sheriff deputies along highly travelled immigrant entry routes into the state, and offer the state passports for sale. No interference is expected from Border Patrol agents, as the Border Patrol avoids being anywhere near the border.

"We can't afford to apprehend illegal aliens because we don't have any jail space," said Supervisor Sinagua. "Rather than have to call for the Border Patrol when our deputies encounter an illegal alien, and then wait for hours for the BP to show up, we'll just sell them a state passport."

By issuing state passports, the new state law would be avoided. "They'd still be in the US illegally, but that is not our problem as a local government," added Sinagua.

The federal government's failure to stop illegal entry and drug smuggling into the state was the primary reason state lawmakers made it illegal to be in Arizona if you are illegal.


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