Anti-Immigrant Laws Cost Tax Payers Millions, Benefits Cut
Cities and states are paying out millions of dollars in llegal fees to defend anti-immigrat laws. Even though law makers know they are setting their citizens up for expensive litigation, they choose aggressive actions. This forces some municipalities to cut citizen services in order to pay legal fees when law makers knew the laws were likely to be declared unconstitutional from the start.
Citizens of the state of Arizona will have to dig deep into their pockets to make up for the losses in revenue to the tax base as a result of the most vicious anti-immigrant law in the history of the U.S. On April 23rd, Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ) signed SB 1070 into law. While a judge ruled portions of the law unconstitutional, the remainder of the law remains in place.
The reaction to SB 1070 has been in the form of massive protests which jammed the legal system, and a national boycott which cost the state millions of tourist dollars. On July 29th, the date SB 1070 went into effect, the Phoenix 100 were arrested in a massive protest. Approximately 100 people were brought in by police. Those arrested included leading clergy from the Unitarian Universalit's Association like Rev Susan Frederick Gray and Salvador Reza of the Puente Movement. Yours truly was front and center for this protest, as well.
The decision to pass anti-immigration laws by the Arizona Republican legislature will cost $752.4 million in business and tax revenue, according to an analyst for the Center for American Progress, reports Marshall Fitz and Angela Kelley. Worse, 4,236 jobs will be lost, says Hispanically Speaking News. Arizona stands to suffer economic damages which will take decades to repair.
Hazleton, Pennsylvania adopted an anti-immigrant ordinance making it illegal for landlords to rent to undocumented workers. The law was ruled unconstitutional. The legal fees will be over 2.4 million dollars and the city has not given up yet. Farmers Branch, Texas, may owe over $5 million with the district court ruling against them. Fremont Nebraska owes over $750,000 in legal fees after passing an anti-immigration bill in their city, reports Hipanically Speaking News.Continued on the next page