Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fast Facts on Arizona's Immigration Crackdown

Fast Facts on Arizona's Immigration Crackdown


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 U.S. Constitution. And until

the legal issues are settled, the new law will have a

detrimental effect on Arizona's economy, as well as

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 America, Arizona is a

  diverse state with multiple generations of U.S.

  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


* Arizona is attempting to grant local police arrest

  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

  First Amendment.


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 Texas-

  based Perryman Group calculated that if all

  unauthorized immigrants were removed from Arizona,

  the state would lose $26.4 billion in economic

  activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and

  approximately 140,324 jobs.


* The Immigration Policy Center noted that, "with

  Arizona facing a budget deficit of more than $3

  billion," the new law will "further imperil the

  state's economic future."


* Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and other local leaders

  anticipate a drop in new business ventures in the

  state because of the harsh new law. Phoenix Vice

  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

community policing


* The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police firmly

  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

  court litigation.


* The costs to arrest, detain, process, and transport

  undocumented immigrants out of Arizona will drain

  local government treasuries. There were an estimated

  460,000 undocumented immigrants in Arizona as of

  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.


Arizona and other local and state governments are

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

United States. This is a federal issue and must be

handled by Congress immediately before other states

start to follow Arizona's lead.




No comments: