Immigrants flee from new Arizona law that punishes their employers

Yikes! The Minutemen are going to have a field day with this story. Apparently the State of Arizona recently passed a law “punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants,” according to the AP.

Here are some excerpts from the AP:

Parents are pulling students out of school. Construction workers are abandoning their jobs. Families are hastily moving out of apartments.

Two months after Arizona enacted a law punishing employers who hire illegal immigrants, the law is already achieving one of its goals: Scores of immigrants are fleeing to other states or back to their Latin American homelands.

Gaby Espinoza, who has been unemployed since November, is among those affected. She gave up looking for a job because of the law and may have to return to Mexico.

Espinoza’s husband works here legally, but the law means that employers must ask her for papers, and she faces the daily fear of being deported.

“There’s no work over there in Mexico,” said Espinoza, who has three U.S.-born children. “People there live so poorly. Here, my kids have health insurance and Medicare. Over there, there’s nothing.”

Jose Perez Leon, a laborer in Phoenix who wants to return to his home in Mexico City, said jobs were plentiful when he came to Arizona about 18 months ago but began to dry up in the last three months.

“I don’t like it here anymore because of everything that’s happening,” he said. “There’s no work.”

The Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano approved the law last summer out of frustration with federal efforts to curb illegal immigration. It took effect Jan. 1.

The law suspends or revokes the business licenses of violators and was intended to reduce the economic incentive for immigrants to sneak across the border. Illegal immigrants account for an estimated one in 10 workers in Arizona, which is the nation’s busiest gateway for illegal immigration.

Oh boy. I wonder how soon other states will start enacting similar laws. Here in California we are staring at a $16 billion budget deficit (Mercury News). How soon before the remaining Republican legislators start screaming about bringing back Prop. 187?

I am surprised that the Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano, signed the law in question. She is a Democrat. I can only surmise that she was under a lot of pressure. And now that the law appears to be doing what it was designed to do, she certainly cannot undo it.

I wonder if this will become a campaign issue in the presidential race, after all one of the participants, Senator John McCain, is from Arizona. I don’t know if he supports this law since he is known for supporting a new amnesty. That would fly in the face of this law.

This situation certainly is one we will keep an eye on.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.