The policing of immigrants extends far beyond the geographic region of the U.S. southwest. Legislation has become an integral component of border policing. Several states that do not border Mexico impose laws and restrictions designed to police immigrants. This illustrates the pervasive xenophobia that has evolved from the establishment of the border.

For example, in May 2011 Governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels signed S.B. 590 into law. S.B. 590 specifically targeted undocumented immigrants by prohibiting day labor employment, restricting undocumented students from receiving in-state tuition, and requiring employers to use E-Verify, an online US government source to determine eligibility for employment. Local municipal governments around the country have enacted ordinances that forbid renting to and employing undocumented immigrants. Some of these laws have been challenged and been proven to be unconstitutional. In 2006, for example, the city of Valley Park, Missouri enacted the Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance that fined or denied business permits to landlords and employers for renting to and hiring undocumented workers. While the section on housing was struck down, the sections of the ordinance that regulate employers remains in place.