As the deadline approaches, for Arizona SB 1070 to take effect, illegal immigrants flee in mass out of Arizona.
Arizona’s demography may see a considerable change in the next few months, and it is largely related to the upcoming enforcement of Senate Bill 1070. Many illegal immigrants have already packed their families and belongings and have begun to head for the border – of the state, that is, not the country. As media forums accumulate frenzied interviews with undocumented residents, there is a concerted conclusion that has simmered over, and that is We cannot live here anymore, as illegal immigrants. Just the threat of the law taking effect seems to have taken on a life of its own, with its own efficacy. In the interim, the state continues to allot monies to address a glut of lawsuits that have been filed against the State of Arizona, in the hopes of stopping the bill from becoming an enforceable law. A large percentage of these lawsuits address the omnipresent topic of racial profiling that somehow has coagulated the natural flow of the senate bill’s passage into law.
The greatest losers are reportedly low wage and underground employers, who will be losing their employees to another state. This may be a blessing in disguise to the state’s unemployment rate, since this will certainly free up job opportunities for a good portion of Arizona’s legal residents. Despite the 3,400 temporary jobs created by the US Census, the state has already reported a .4 year-over-year unemployment hike, which puts Arizona’s unemployment rate at just .1 less than the national unemployment rate. Arizona seems to be following too closely behind the national unemployment rate, which continues to climb towards double-digit numbers, under the Obama Administration. Public schools with illegal resident majorities, such as the Phoenix Balsz Elementary School District, are reporting losing as many as 70 families in the past month. However lamentable the loss may be, it seems like the state will be the greatest winner, since the anticipatory flight of undocumented immigrants seems destined to decrease Arizona’s 9.6% unemployment rate and $187 million spent on schooling illegal immigrant children.
A great unintended consequence of the whole situation is just how accurate Census 2010 will be in Arizona, since our demography will inevitably change? Bordering states will be picking up the tab, for Arizona, as their anti-SB1070 stance, such as that of California and Colorado, has actually drawn illegal Arizona immigrants their way, so they will become the haven to those fleeing the SB1070 menace. However, not all plan to flee. Many have staked their claim on Arizona and have vowed to go out fighting, so there are still many who will chose to stay in-state. Either way, Arizonans can expect to awake to a different demography on July 29th, when the bill takes effect, and one that may present an optimistic outlook to the budget-deficit state that has been hit hard by harsh economic times. In Arizona it is clear that hard times call for harsh measures, which perhaps other states should adopt.
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