Fast Facts on
The New Law's Dangerous Economic, Social, and Legal Consequences
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed today what is now the
most punitive and sweeping anti-immigrant state law in
the nation. This law's full effects will not be
measurable for months to come, but it is already clear
that it will be challenged in court because it denies
rights guaranteed in the
the legal issues are settled, the new law will have a
detrimental effect on
city and state budgets.
The law essentially legalizes racial profiling
* The law puts communities of color in the crosshairs
by requiring state and local government workers to
determine if a person is illegally in the United
States based on a "reasonable suspicion."
* Legal experts maintain that the law will result in
racial profiling, as it does not prohibit police
officers from relying on race or ethnicity in
deciding who to investigate. Of course all Arizonans
don't all look alike. Like
diverse state with multiple generations of
citizens. Three out of every 10 Arizonans are
Hispanic, 1 out of 10 is American Indian, and 13
percent are foreign born.
The law undercuts the Constitution and imbues local
police with federal authority
authority for administrative violations of federal
immigration law, even though the state police does
not even have that authority under federal law.
* The measure does not require the local police to have
a search warrant or even suspect that some illegal
action has occurred.
* The law criminalizes the solicitation of work even
though courts have previously ruled that the
solicitation of work is protected speech under the
The law will harm the state and local economies
* The National Employment Law Project pointed out that
smaller-scale anti-immigrant ordinances have cost
individual localities millions of dollars. The
based Perryman Group calculated that if all
unauthorized immigrants were removed from
the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic
activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and
approximately 140,324 jobs.
billion," the new law will "further imperil the
state's economic future."
anticipate a drop in new business ventures in the
state because of the harsh new law.
Mayor Michael Nowakowski observed: "We're the
laughing stock of the country because of these crazy
The law will be expensive and take cops away form
opposes the law for fiscal and public safety reasons,
noting that fear of government officials will
diminish the public's willingness to cooperate with
police in criminal investigations and will
"negatively affect the ability of law enforcement
agencies across the state to fulfill their many
responsibilities in a timely manner."
* Local taxpayers will bear the heavy costs of lengthy
* The costs to arrest, detain, process, and transport
undocumented immigrants out of
local government treasuries. There were an estimated
460,000 undocumented immigrants in
January 2009, making up 4 percent of the state's
population. If the federal government were to handle
the entire undocumented population, the cost would be
approximately $23,482 per person, based on a recent
study by the Center for American Progress.
taking action on immigration because Congress has
failed to enact comprehensive immigration reform that
restores border security, provides a flexible visa
program to meet business and family needs, and deals
with the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the
handled by Congress immediately before other states
start to follow