Alabama’s controversial anti-immigrant law, which requires police to detain people they suspect of being in the U.S. undocumented, has cost the state’s economy up to $11 billion.
According to a new study conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama, the state would lose between $1.2 to $5.8 billion in earnings by undocumented individuals, between $56.7 to $264.5 million in lost state income and sales taxes, and as much as $93.1 million in lost city and county sales taxes.
“The cost is quite certain,” said Sam Addy, the Center’s Director. “It’s simple economics. If you have more people you have a bigger economy, less people a smaller economy.”
The study took into account the burden to the state caused by healthcare and social services needs of undocumented individuals, and concluded that the savings garnered are negligible when compared to the increased costs of law enforcement and businesses that are now required to run citizenship checks.
As previously reported on La Plaza, thousands of immigrants have left their jobs, which has left many small businesses understaffed and construction projects unfinished, including rebuilding from the devastating tornadoes that swept through the state in 2011.
Alabama state legislators convene February 7 and there are politicians, including some who stand by the anti-immigrant bill, who admit to the need for revision of the law.