I hope some enterprising Ph.D. candidate takes advantage of what sounds like an opportunity to study the economic impact on jobs, wages, and prices as a natural experiment on the Arizona border. According to the NYT:
Officers who guard the line say the [AZ] border is more secure in most places than they have ever known it. They say they are in a strong position to hold off an illegal surge, and to show why they point to Arizona, once the busiest and most contentious border battlefront. To the east, in Texas, agents are still struggling to stop persistent migrants in hundreds of miles of varying and penetrable terrain. But in Arizona, every available measure shows steep declines in the number of people making it across, figures that border agents say demonstrate what they can accomplish.
Economist David Card has long studied immigration impact using this kind of geographical variation, and his work finds much smaller impacts on domestic workers from immigrant competition than many would expect (economist George Borjas finds larger effects; Heidi Shierholz provides a useful review and somewhat of a reconciliation here).
I don’t mean to ignore the harsh and even fatal aspects of what’s going on in this part of the country. This is not the face of functional immigration reform. But under the very broad and far-fetched assumption that facts matter, it could help inform us of some important things we need to know.