Originally published in The Progressive. By Eric K. Ward, October 5, 2011
The reckless hunt for undocumented immigrants is placing all of us in the economic crossfire.
Recently, U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn ruled that portions of HB 56, a controversial Alabama immigration bill signed into law last June, could now be implemented. As a result, already financially strapped local police and school administrators will be forced to shift precious resources to assume an enforcement role that blurs the historic line between local and federal authority.
For local communities, these unfunded mandates are no longer simply a way to express frustration with a broken immigration system. Rather, they have become an economic problem that cuts across class, race, and ethnicity. Under the misguided notion of “controlling undocumented immigration,” white men are experiencing the negative economic impact of these laws right along with black and Latino Americans.
Alabama could lose almost 18,000 jobs and approximately $2.6 billion as a result of the new immigration law, according to the economic analysis firm the Perryman Group. The Immigration Policy Center, a national think tank, reminds us that along with white and black working families, “Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Alabama’s economy.” As the state clamps down on immigration, these entrepreneurs and consumers may take their money and jobs elsewhere. Continue reading this article here…
This article was chosen as Best Opinion by The Week.