Arizona Shoots It's Foot
SB 1070 Ideology Proves Arizona's Economy is Suffering
It's official, today is the day that anyone on the streets in Arizona is either protesting, questioning, or being arrested for breaking the law; Just not the taboo law of being in America illegally.
Many protesters were arrested today -- mainly in Maricopa, Arizona where Sheriff Arpaio regulates immigration very loosely based on the rights of people -- who were rallying against and for SB 1070. SB 1070 has taken effect with new blocked portions, but it still did not deter protesters who gathered from around the country to continue to voice their opposition to the bill.
"It's a temporary bump in the road," said Governor Jan Brewer this Wednesday after the revised law was ruled upon by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton. Bolton writes in a preliminary injunction against -- what is considered to be -- the most controversial sections of the law that "the Court therefore finds that preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely preempted by federal law to be enforced." Those sections include verifying someone's citizenship if arrested based on a thought process that should determine whether or not they are most likely illegal, carrying your documents to prove your citizenship, soliciting work if you are illegal, making warrantless arrests if the police officer believes you are illegal (this is the one where it's said racial profiling would probably be used).
Bolton also wrote, "If Arizona were to enforce the portions of S.B. 1070 for which the Court has found a likelihood of preemption, such enforcement would likely burden legal resident aliens and interfere with federal policy."
It is reported that the blocked decisions of SB 1070 have stopped similar bills around the country, but Bolton's ruling is not final. Brewer has already filed the appeal today for the preliminary injunction.
Many speculate that the entire bill was a move by the GOP to build a platform for the 2012 elections since they typically didn't even have one. I mean, Sarah Palin visited Jan Brewer in support of the bill. The political exploitation in state that houses failed opponent/Maverick, John McCain of the 2008 presidential elections, has begun with a Gubernatorial candidate and current state Attorney General Terry Goddard saying, "Jan Brewer played politics with immigration, and she lost."
Besides putting an issue that wasn't at the forefront of America's mind until after September 11th back into the rhetoric of the nation, immigration reform is something that is going to need to happen.
Although the bill serves as a way to cater to the ideology of conservative Americans who do belive that this law will inhibit illegal immigrants from crossing the border, there are reasons why the bill is one of the dumbest moves by Arizona state --- or any state for that matter. As many Hispanic and Latino (legal and illegal; Americans and non-Americans) prepare to leave the state to avoid conflict, Arizona's economy is beginning to show signs of a decline --- which is probably not the best news to hear during a nationwide recession.
There has been much evidence that in supporting Arizona's SB 1070, the economy will decline.
1) The most telling evidence is a study conducted by Judith Gans of the University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy completed in 2008 that focuses on (legal and illegal) immigrants' impact on Arizona's economy during 2004.
-It presents non-citizens add to the increased cost of healthcare, but "of the $150 million in uncompensated care costs associated with immigrants, nearly $140 million was incurred by non-citizens."
-"Between 1990 and 2000, immigrants accounted for 52 percent of the increase in the number of 20-to-45-year-old persons in Arizona. Immigrants fill specific gaps in the labor force."
-"The 2004 total economic output attributable to immigrant workers was about $44 billion ($15 billion for naturalized citizens and $29 billion for non-citizens). This output included $20 billion in labor and other income and resulted in approximately 400,000 full-time equivalent jobs."
-"The portion of Arizona’s economic activity that can be attributed to naturalized citizens includes 121,400 full-time-equivalent jobs and $14.8 billion in output, which includes $4.9 billion in labor income and $1.9 billion in other income. For non-citizens, the share of Arizona’s economic activity that can be attributed to them includes about 280,000 full-time-equivalent jobs and $29 billion in output, which includes $10 billion in labor income and $3.3 billion in other income."
2) Unemployment has risen again in the past three months to 9.7 percent since the bill has been signed in April.
3) Mexico and Arizona economic trade relationship has been cut off since the bill was signed. It typically generates $8 billion dollars annually.
4) Boycotts are estimated to result in over $90 million dollars lost for the state in the hotel and conventions arena. Surprisingly, hotels are seeing an increase and not a decline in profits. It's said that it may still be too early in the year to tell whether or not this is a trend. (Fine, everybody gets one Arizona; but it's not like protesters aren't the one's staying at these hotels).
This isn't Arizona's only law they are trying to push. They are also currently working on a bill that proposes that children of illegal immigrants shouldn't automatically receive citizenship.
The law has been opposed by many including 'Los Suns' a.k.a. the Phoenix Suns who purposefully wore their throwback jerseys in order to protest the law in May in a game versus the San Antonio Spurs. Numerous music performers have also canceled their concerts in Arizona in protest of the bill.
Whether or not you are supporting/fighting the bill or not, having an economy that isn't thriving for an entire community and state hurts everyone equally. With or without documents.