New Report: Harsh Alabama Immigration Law has Severe Economic Costs
A new report conducted by a researcher at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama finds that flight of Alabama’s immigrant community since the passage of anti-immigrant law HB 56 has cost the state tens of thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenues.
Dr. Samuel Addy, the author of the report, puts it bluntly:
While the law’s costs are certain and some are large, it is not clear that the benefits will be realized. From an economist’s perspective, the question Alabama and its legislature have to ponder is this: Are the benefits of the new immigration law worth the costs?
The analysis stands as a stark rebuttal to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the author of the legislation. In an interview with Think Progress this week, Kobach (who also authored a similar bill in Arizona) boldly asserted that he believes the law is having “no negative impact.”
Clearly Kobach is unwilling to let facts get in the way of his anti-immigrant ideology. Yet focusing narrowly only on the economic costs misses the larger point. Such draconian and hateful legislation undermines our values and blemishes our character. The economic costs are significant, but the moral costs are greater.