Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Arizona looking to pass more Anti-immigrant Bills despite Opposition from Business Leaders

A broad range of anti-immigrant bills will be heard and voted on today in the Arizona Senate, just a day after the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce released a letter against such measures saying they will hurt the state’s economy and tourism.

“Arizona’s lawmakers and citizens are right to be concerned about illegal immigration,” the letter said. “But we must acknowledge that when Arizona goes it alone on this issue, unintended consequences inevitably occur.”

Senate President Russell Pearce, the sponsor of SB 1070, says he will push forward with his new anti-immigrant bill, which will target many facets of everyday life for undocumented immigrants, including attending school, going to a hospital and obtaining a driver’s license, etc.

The law could have dire economic consequences for the state.  Last year, La Plaza reported that Debbie Johnson, chief executive of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association, stated that the state lost an estimated 40 conventions which equaled revenue of around $ 15 million after SB 1070 was signed into law by Gov. Jan Brewer.

The letter was signed by dozens of major employers in the state and said “unintended consequences” occur when the state “goes it alone” on illegal immigration, including boycotts and other fallout on businesses.

Under Pearce’s new law, parents of students at K-12 schools would have to prove the legal status of their children and undocumented immigrants would be banned from attending public universities.  The law also prohibits undocumented immigrants from driving in the state and mandates that public housing tenants be evicted if they let undocumented immigrants live with them.

Other bills that will be heard today include a set of measures that would set new criteria to get Arizona birth certificates and form a compact with other states; a move intended to force the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit the 14th Amendment and rule if children born to undocumented immigrants can be granted automatic citizenship.

Another measure would force hospital workers to question the legal status of patients and report them immediately to authorities if they have suspicion the person is in the country illegally.

The letter was signed by heads of construction companies, hospitals, real estate developers and US Airways.

If the Senate should pass any of these bills today they will be sent to the House chamber for a vote.

New England Cable News

Business Week