Traffic commutes shortening for Valley drivers due to crackdown on illegal immigration

As a result of Arizona’s new employer sanctions law and tough enforcement of local immigration laws by Sheriff Joe Arpaio and County Attorney Andrew Thomas, Valley drivers are noticing their work commuting times have substantially decreased. Illegal immigrants are fleeing the state in droves, mostly leaving for states and cities with sanctuary city policies like Maryland and San Francisco. Arizona motorists who once sat in traffic for an hour on their way to work on the I-10, I-17, 101, 202 and 60 are reporting as much as a 50% decrease in commute times. One man said that his 7am commute on the I-17 used to be all stop-and-go, getting him to work at 8am. Now, if he leaves at 7am he is at work by 7:30. Another man reported that his commute from the West Valley on the I-10 into Phoenix used to take him close to 1 1/2 hours. Now, it’s rarely over 45 minutes.

So, the next time you’re driving to work or returning home and pleasantly surprised at how quickly you got there, thank our legislators for passing the employer sanctions law, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio for enforcing our laws. The significant decrease in neck and back pain for those of us who suffer from it in stop-and-go traffic has been a blessing.


  1. Ken Jacobs says

    Is there a source for this story?

  2. I have no love at all for illegal immigrants. Good riddance.

    But don’t dare thank Sheriff Joe Arpaio for anything. That is one lowlife fascist cowchip. Seriously, he needs to be tried at the court at The Hague, Netherlands for crimes against humanity over the way he and his deputies run that county concentration camp.

  3. SonoranSam says

    Of course, the fact that the economy is in recession, and gas prices are fast heading toward $4 a gallon (diesel is heading toward $5)had nothing to do with this.


  4. AZGOPgal says

    Can you please site your source for this story?

  5. Joe Reader says

    Gas prices and the (seasonally adjusted) fact that snowbirds are leaving in droves might also help just a bit..

  6. Grand Old Party says

    I think some of you are taking the wrong approach to this blog post. If you had read this article in the newspaper, would you be challenging it for the identity of its source(s)? The gang that contributes to this blog are reputable and intelligent Republican activists. I trust their blog posts over the newspapers any day. Every day I spot inaccuracies, smears, and downright lies in our mainstream newspapers. On a blog however, posts are subject to critical comments (which are rarely censored here), forcing the author to correct any inaccuracies. Do your own poll of your co-workers if they have a long drive to work. I asked a couple of folks I work with and they all said they’d noticed a difference (they take the 60 to the 101 and head north to go to work). Sadly, I doubt the mainstream media will even cover this phenomenon, because it doesn’t promote their agenda of open borders.

  7. Seriously, how is the commute time determined to be reflective of the employee sanctions law and Arpaio? It’s not the high price of gas, or increased unemployment, or just an anecdotal observation?

    A happened, B happened, A must have caused B. Could be the case, but not necessarily.

  8. Joe Reader and Ann,

    It’s not the high price of gas reducing drivers on the road, because we’ve been through gas prices almost this high before in Arizona, and the commute times didn’t decrease. Do you remember people talking then about less traffic as a result of higher gas prices? No. Because people found other ways to cut costs instead of cutting back significantly on their driving. Same with the sluggish economy. When we were in an actual recession during Bush Sr., do you remember commute times slowing then? No. But thousands of illegal immigrants leaving the state (call it unemployment if you want but technically they’re not unemployed if they’ve left the state and found work elsewhere) WILL correlate into less drivers on the road.


  9. “If you had read this article in the newspaper, would you be challenging it for the identity of its source(s)?”

    Yes, because this is beyond specious reasoning. The post is implying that this has been the only change since the sanctions bill was implemented.

    Gas Prices. Foreclosures. Unemployement. Decreased construction in certain areas. These all have no effect but the sanctions bill does?

    My commute has remained exactly the same on the 101 in Scottsdale. Should I then reason the employee sanctions bill has had no effect?

  10. gop dude says

    Klute, it’s amusing how you libs who lurk on this site posting comments are so quick to come up with as many excuses as you can brainstorm, no matter how credible, in order to avoid acknowledging the success of a conservative initiative. I asked my friends over email if they’ve noticed a difference in their commutes over the last few months, including friends who take the 101 every day, and everyone who responded so far said yes. Of course the 101 is pretty bad these days because of the bottleneck caused by construction between the 51 and Scottsdale, so it would probably take fairly high reduction in cars to notice much of a difference.

  11. Frank Soto says

    Correlation != Causation

    I mean, c’mon. Ann is right: it could be the case; however, this would be an incredibly difficult empirical question, that even the best regression analysis in the world probably couldn’t answer. Is it higher gas prices? Maybe. Is it a downturn in the market? Maybe. Is it employer sanctions law? Maybe. Could it be all of them working together? Maybe.

    “in order to avoid acknowledging the success of a conservative initiative.”

    I don’t think this is what Klute or other “libs” are doing, I think they are just pointing out the obvious: this is simply much more complicated than the post states. Further, I’m not sure that employer sanctions is necessarily a “conservative initiative.” I mean, half the party supports it, and the other half doesn’t, so I don’t know what to make of it.

    Also, since we are on the subject, I haven’t seen reports that there was an illegal immigrant exodus yet, can anyone point me to one of these. It will be interesting to see the 2008 DHS/ICE yearbook statistics, which will at least give some empirical data.

  12. FreeAdvice says

    I don’t know a single person whose business, private life, or anything else has been affected by the immigration crackdown. Except my friends who teach in public schools — they are all losing students and THEY tell me it’s due to the crackdown.

    Student enrollment. Hmmm. That’s a pretty reportable number, less controversial than crime stats, and I’m looking forward to seeing the published facts and analysis.

    Employer Sanctions was signed by the Governor, and it may have been a case of a called bluff, but it’s hardly a “conservative initiative” at the end of the day.

    After that set of enrollment numbers come in, I’d also like to see the “reduced price lunch” in-school welfare program numbers as well.

  13. I’ve been taking I-17 to/from work for the last 10 years, and I’ve always noticed that it gets much lighter around 2/1 and stays that way until about late May. I’ll form my own opinion in a few weeks.

  14. Everyone’s said what I would have said in response to gop dude, but I’m going to take exception to the term “lurk”. Lurk implies that I’m hiding, and the last thing I do is hide from anything.

    Hell, I was only liberal besides Krysten Sinema at Greg Patterson’s blogiversary at the Phoenix Country Club.

  15. Klute,

    Yes you were and I’ve seen the photos to prove it.

    On another topic, I may have to admit to eating crow before you have time to tell me “told ya’ so”. I spoke to someone in DC today who is up close and personal with the CD1 race in MS; there is little love lost for the R candidate among party faithful and leaders, it looks like he could be a big LOSER. Despite the best efforts, he may be able to turn even good R’s to vote for a D.

  16. AZGOPgal says

    I am a faithful reader of this blog and am not questioning the credibility or intelligence of those who contribute to it’s posts. As a matter of fact, I think it is an insult to suggest that there is something wrong with asking someone to reference their source. Because they are “reputable and intelligent Republican activists” we should refrain from maintaining the integrity of the information by asking for the source?

    I am asking for a source because I do not subscribe to the way of thinking “believe me because I say it’s true”. I would like to be able to pass along the information to others and, if asked, be able to site the source.

    BTW, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t question what they read in the paper!

  17. FreeAdvice says

    My post regarding the school enrollment was designed to try to answer that question of authority indirectly. It will be tough to pinpoint the exact day or week or even month the Employer Sanctions law can be credited with creating a reduction of illegal immigrants. Measuring the reduction of traffic, which can have a number of causes, is one way. Counting the number of students who suddenly disappear AND their teachers tell me it’s because they were here illegally is real data. Fewer students, fewer people, less traffic. I’ve drawn the same conclusion, just with different data.

    The other problem is that the damage of having an illegal immigrant population for an extended period of time has been done. Extra capacity was built into our schools to handle non-citizens, but when they depart that capacity goes unused. No one minds the extra capacity on the freeways, however.

  18. It is possible to look at school enrollment numbers and compare to other years for contrasting data. Also, the number of students in specialty programs, such as ELL may reduce significantly. Also, schools do record ethnicity counts. These are hard numbers that would have changed without other significantly influencing factors.

    By looking at January and February enrollment numbers for the state, compared to previous years student count could be adequate to offer a possible cause-effect.

    Much better than my child used to spend 12 minutes waiting of their school lunch and now they only wait 8. Could be true and could be the real reason…but give us some data to back it up.

  19. Ann,

    And *if* he wins I promise to keep the gloating to a minimum.

    Seriously though, I think this race will be the bellwether for November (unless something really dramatic happens – and Hannity and his ilk will have come up with something better that Angry Black Guy-gate).

    If the Dem wins, Obama wins and there’s a seismic shift in American politics.

    If the Dem loses little, then it’s a tossup.

    If the Dem loses big, the Democratic party keeps the Senate and House, but McCain gets the presidency.

    It’ll be an intersting moment for conservative politics – Goldwater represented the high watermark for paleo-conservatism (I put Reagan in his own catagory). Is McCain the high watermark for neo-conservatism?

    And if so, does that make Arizona the kiss of death for GOP candidates that Massachusetts is Democratic ones?

  20. Ken Jacobs says

    Just to clarify: I thought the post was interesting but I saw no sourcing. I know plenty of R’s and Conservatives who share important information AND can provide a factual basis. My question was not an attack. Still waiting.

  21. OK – so, the NRCC dropped 1.3 million into the race, God only knows how much “Freedom’s” Watch poured into it, the GOP robocalled the hell out of the district, tried to link Childers to Obama…

    And he CRUSHED Davis in MS-1. He went from a 3% margin of victory to a 6% margin of victory. In a district that went for Bush 62% in 2004 and was +10 in 2006.

    Three special elections. After the wave in 2006. In blood red districts. Legacy districts.

    Unless Obama changes his name to Barack X and replaces the Secret Service with SW-1, I don’t see how this ends up being anything but bad for the GOP.

  22. I conceed the MS-1, but in both LA and MS I believe it was more about a very weak candidate. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

  23. The $ were pretty equal, with the Dems actually spending more:

    “Both parties have been pouring money into the district for this race. The National Republican Congressional Committee spent $1.27 million and the conservative group Freedom’s Watch spent $460,000. The DCCC spent $1.84 million on Childers’ behalf.” ABC News

    It was a 51-49 vote, not really crushing.

  24. Recheck – Finally tally: 54-46, 8%. That’s an 18 point shift in less than 2 years. That’s brutal.

  25. Ouch. I’m not surprised based on what I heard from my Mississippi friends.

    You get this round but I am NOT giving up on November!

  26. Ken Jacobs says

    Got the message, no source. Pat, how about filing your post under “fantasy/fiction?”

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