With the recent allowance of police offers to enforce the papers please policy in the Arizona anti-illegal immigration law, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB 1070), any person who is stopped, detained, or arrested for any reason is subject to have their immigration status checked if the officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person is in the United States illegally. The consequences of this policy reach far beyond a simple inconvenience for Arizona residents—it is also significantly damaging the state’s economy.
Arizona’s Unfavorable History of Harsh Immigration Policies
Since 2007, Arizona has been implementing strict laws meant to rid the state of illegal immigrants. The Legal Arizona Workers Act (LAWA) utilizes an electronic employment verification system called E-Verify that costs $147 and additional human resources to verify a single employee. The threat of losing everything for knowingly or unknowingly hiring illegal workers lead entrepreneurs to start their businesses elsewhere and earned the system the nickname of “the business death penalty.” The business formation rate then declined 14.3% in the third quarter of 2007 as unemployment rose. Workers found to be illegal were fired from their jobs, but legal Americans did not seem to step up to fill them. Not surprisingly, as crop production employment in Arizona fell by 15.6% in the four years following the enactment of LAWA, employment in the same category increased in nearby New Mexico and California.
Bad Signs for the Economy
In addition to the poor employment figures, another indication that Arizona’s laws have hurt their economy can be seen in Phoenix’s home price index. While the index for the 20 largest metropolitan areas declined by 32.9% in light of the housing bust, Phoenix’s price index dropped by a staggering 51.29%.
SB 1070 then took Arizona’s severe anti-immigration policies out of businesses and into the streets, and Forbes estimates that a total of around 200,000 people have been forced out of Arizona as a result of the two laws. Those are 200,000 lost consumers who would have continued to inject money into the economy.
Business Immigration Would Help
As evidenced by the detrimental effects that Arizona’s anti-immigration laws have had on their economy, the solution to the United States’ immigration problems is not to unabashedly evict illegal immigrants, especially those who are working and helping our economy. America was built on immigration, and it would not behoove the nation to turn its back on industrious workers now.
Zulkie Partners LLC specializes in all aspects business immigration law, including permanent resident sponsorship, nonimmigrant working visas, and retention of permanent residence status for employees facing a foreign business assignment. For more information, education, and help regarding immigration law, contact Zulkie Partners LLC, one of America’s top business immigration law firms.