Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is Brewer's Immigration Stance Bad for Business? - Newsweek

Is Brewer's Immigration Stance Bad for Business? - Newsweek

Strains between Brewer and the state’s business community are starting to show. Though her championing of the immigration measure has proved politically popular and catapulted her to national prominence, that success has come at a price. She has essentially sided with the immigration hawks in her party, at the expense of its business wing. Backers of the law, which would require police to check the papers of those they suspect are in the country illegally, justify it partly on economic grounds, claiming it would help rid the state of undocumented people who place a burden on public services. Yet even though the law was mostly struck down by a federal judge two weeks ago, the state has already taken an economic hit (on top of the ravages of the Great Recession). Several companies have packed up and left. At least 40 groups have canceled conventions and conferences, says Debbie Johnson, CEO of the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association. And the Phoenix area alone is projected to lose $92 million in business, according to Mayor Phil Gordon. “Anyone who says our image has not been hurt is living in a bubble,” he says.

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