Alabama’s tough new immigration law, most of which was upheld by a federal judge last week, is having its intended effect: Illegal aliens are leaving the state, and their children are disappearing from schools.

Two news reports show that illegal aliens, who cost Alabama taxpayers some $300 million annually, have read the handwriting on the wall: No more hiding; the free ride is over.

It’s early October and that means it’s time for the Supreme Court to begin hearing oral arguments in cases it will decide this term. One such case was placed on the docket according to an order issued by the court in September. Carlos Martinez Gutierrez was nabbed trying to smuggle three Mexican children into California. The merits of this case will now be considered by the highest court in the land.

A federal judge upheld the most important parts of Alabama’s law that seeks to control the state’s growing problem with illegal aliens.

In her 115-page decision last week, Judge Sharon Blackburn (left) of the Northern District of Alabama upheld six sections of HB 56 and enjoined four. The law is problematic in those four areas, she ruled, but in the main, HB 56 does not interfere with congressional prerogatives vis-à-vis immigration policy. Nor does it interfere, she ruled, with the foreign policy objectives of the United States.

Arizona created quite a national furor a year ago by enacting a law to crack down on illegal immigrants, but the ease with which non-English-speaking people can obtain driver’s licenses there has attracted refugees now living in Massachusetts. The Bay State has suspended the driver's licenses of 124 Massachusetts residents who obtained licenses from Arizona, which they then converted into Massachusetts licenses, the Boston Globe reported Monday. State Police are investigating hundreds of other cases in which Massachusetts residents may have gained driving privileges through Arizona's more flexible policy.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, illegal aliens are bilking the federal government for billions because they are filing fraudulent returns, and the sum is much higher than even a top group opposed to illegal immigration has estimated.