What Will The Arizona Immigration Law Cost Long Term?
I don’t often get political in this blog, and this won’t be overly political, but it’s going to be a little bit political.
Last week Arizona saw fit to pass an immigration bill that they say was needed to help fight illegal aliens from coming through their borders and basically taking over the state, working jobs that Americans can’t get for much less money, and bringing in all sorts of drugs and committing all sorts of crimes as well. They said they did it to defend themselves. The rest of the country, including myself, believes they’ve just given law enforcement the right to start racial profiling, since the law encourages law enforcement to pull over and ask for papers from anyone they suspect might be in the country illegally.
Leaving the politics now, it’s a bold step for the state to take, and they’ve been taking a lot of heat for it. The governor of the state, Jan Brewer, came out with a statement saying that she didn’t believe Arizona would suffer any financial repercussions from the law; I heard a collective laugh when she made that statement, and so far it seems that everyone except the governor were spot on, which then made her go back to the podium and say she didn’t mind that the state was losing business. Funny statements coming from someone who tried to end Child Health Care in her state without realizing that it would eliminate matching federal funds from many programs and needed to have the state congress override her directive, and in a state which has been crushed by the housing problems over the past couple of years and is still near the top, or at the top, of foreclosures.
There has already been 15 to 20 conventions that were scheduled to be in the state that have been canceled. Major League Baseball is thinking about moving the All-Star game that’s supposed to be played there next year. Many states have already issued bans for anyone negotiating anything with the state, and contracts are being canceled left and right. The Arizona travel bureau has gone so far as to put out advertisements asking people not to cancel travel plans because it would hurt the workers, most of whom are Hispanic. The follow up question for any of us are if any of those workers are illegal, and whether or not they’ll be asked to provide their papers just to make sure at some point.
It seems that no one remembers history. Arizona took a lot of heat back in the 80’s when they became the last state to approve the King Holiday. At that time they were the pariah of the country, and lost a lot of business. Now they’re inspiring hatred and protests and many local businesses in a lot of communities are suffering because the majority of their citizens are Latino, and those people are scared to be out of their homes for too long because they think the police will ask them for papers, and these are citizens. Sorry, but I don’t remember where I left my papers; do you?
Of course all of this might prove to be a moot point if the law doesn’t survive the court challenges that are already in place, and I don’t see how it could. The last time anyone in this country took a position like this ended with internment of Japanese Americans. Any law that gives even the hint of improprieties like this has to be overturned. In this case, many businesses in Arizona might be quite happy in the end.