Earlier this week Supreme Court justices signaled that they might uphold key provisions of Arizona’s immigration law, S.B. 1070, which would essentially turn police into immigration agents.
Businesses in the state are fearful that if the Supreme Court upholds the law it would have adverse effects. Many farmers in the state and around the country depend on immigrant workers harvest their crops, a job that most Americans won’t do. If the draconian law is allowed to stand, these farmers may face a shortage of workers. While a number of migrant workers have immigration attorneys get them work visas, a large number are undocumented.
Without enough workers, farmers would be forced to let some of their crops ruin, which could drive up the costs of produce. This happened last year in Georgia when Vidalia onion farmers faced a shortage of field hands. They attempted to use labor from local prisons and non-immigrant workers, but this was unsuccessful.
But farmers are the only ones feeling the pressure; other businesses fear that enactment of S.B. 1070 would cause more boycotts and shrink the labor force. The law may cause legal immigrants and those, who have not obtained legal documents through an immigration lawyer, flee the state.
Todd Landfried, executive director of Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform told Bloomberg, “When S.B. 1070 first went into effect in 2010, we saw a significant drop in sales-tax revenues and an increase in the unemployment rate. There’s no reason to think this won’t happen again of the law goes into effect.”
Central to the debate of S.B. 1070 is the clause, nicknamed “papers please,” which would give police the right to detain any person suspected of being an immigrant who cannot produce legal documents.
Though illegal immigration from Mexico has declined significantly, there are still many undocumented immigrants in the country. For these individuals deportation looms, but by retaining an immigration lawyer they may be able to get the necessary visas, which would allow to live and work without fear.