For more than a year, senior researcher Dr. Walter Ewing and research associate Seth Hoy analyzed and compiled data on every state in the US to track the powerful impact immigrants have on this country. The result: A recent study released by the Immigration Policy Center that highlights both the political and economic power that immigrants—specifically Latinos and Asians—have on the United States. With Arizona's controversial SB 1070 scheduled to go into effect today (although a ruling yesterday by US District Judge Susan Bolton blocks some aspects of the law), politicians, business owners and the like should take note.
"Whether immigrants comprise a significant component of a state’s population, as [they do] in California, Arizona, New York or Illinois, or a very small percentage of the population as a whole in states such as North and South Dakota, West Virginia or Rhode Island, they, nonetheless, have a surprising positive impact that cannot be ignored," said Mary Giovagnoli, director of the IPC. “Armed with this information, the public can make better, more thoughtful decisions about the type of immigration policy they want to see at both the federal and state level."
The facts for Arizona—the first to take such harsh actions toward immigrants and thus incite the federal government to file suit against the state—show that if all unauthorized immigrants were removed from the state, Arizona would lose $26.4 billion in economic activity, $11.7 billion in gross state product, and approximately 140,324 jobs, according to a Perryman Group report. Latinos, some of whom are reportedly fleeing the state for fear of what will happen when SB 1070 takes effect, make up nearly 30 % of Arizona’s population. “Obviously it’s not good to alienate 30 %of your population,” said Ewing.