The Arizona Senate’s recent rejection of multiple immigration bills – designed, among other things, to challenge birthright citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants and the right to K-12 public education for undocumented children, and to encourage healthcare workers to report suspected undocumented persons to authorities – has been attributed in part to a combination of pressure from social movements and business interests.

High school students rallied to protest the proposed measures last week, echoing similar action by students around the country pushing for passage of the DREAM Act - a bi-partisan bill designed to grant conditional paths to citizenship for undocumented students who are working towards a degree in higher education or have served in the U.S. military – which the U.S. Senate most recently failed to pass in December 2010.

Similar protests both in and outside of Arizona appear to have influenced the Arizona business community to push for defeat of the new bills, fearing damage to tourism, bad publicity, boycotts, and law suits, like those stemming from the passage of SB 1070 last summer.  Several major industry CEOs signed a letter delivered to lawmakers two days before the Senate vote, explaining their opposition to the bills.

Interestingly, while the push for passage of SB 1070 emphasized the need for Arizona to fill a policy vacuum in light of the U.S. government’s failure to enforce an adequate national immigration policy, the CEOs’ letter advocated for proponents of the new bills to focus on pressing for change to immigration policy at the federal level.

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6 Comments

  1. Brittanicus says:

    The majority of Americans don’t care which side of the world people come from to settle here, as long as they arrive legally? The Southwest has been invaded and unless the do-nothing US Government starts enforcing the 1986 Simpson/Mazzoli bill, as it was intended, we will just been washing billions of taxpayer dollars as down the eternal drain, as we have for decades. The Leftist climb on the bandwagon with pushing the racist card, because they will not examine the truth and are involved in these philosophies of world Government; facts they will not disclose about spending taxpayer’s money and building larger government agencies so their agenda is successful. These Leftist want wide open borders, with no consideration for the taxpaying public. They can lie in the Liberal press all they want, but the truth is Americans are sick and tired of supporting the impoverished of other countries.

    A letter from the promoters of corporate greed doomed the first chance of fiscal American survival against the illegal alien occupation. The letter signified the influence of the major instigator, the US Chamber of Commerce, whom believes that discount illegal labor is an essential to our wilting economy? A Guest Worker program would alleviate this problem, if it wasn’t full of visa loopholes? We already bring into America over a million and a half a year, so exasperating the process just make citizens and authorized residents resentful and angry. This is especially true when the company bosses do not drive on congested highways; live in gated mansions or isolated homes and have no dealings with the imported foreign crime and the crumbling neighborhoods full of poverty- stricken foreigners.
    The business industries find ways negate the tax code, but the men and women taxpayers have no such political advantages. Ordinary Americans have no special privileges and cannot attribute, but a few dollars to political campaigns. Only united voices as with the TEA PARTY can fix the hardships of all the populace, by stopping the “Tax and Spend” Liberals, who a major part of bring more illegal aliens to our shores and borders.
    Leftist -Democrats and even some Republicans opposed the advancement of the-REAL-fence and placed obstacles so the E-Verify system of catching foreign nationals, before they were hired. However, the Leftist portion of our government hasn’t been able to place obstacles in the way of Secure Communities as yet? Just about every newspaper calls illegal aliens–undocumented immigrants, or other De-Facto name, when in truth they are foreign aliens and have no right to be here. The TEA Party knows this and will fight against the Liberal progressives and any other crazy scheme, thinking that Americans are not going to stop these parodies of our laws. Scrutinizing the papers today, one article accessed the growing population of Arizona. We accept high demand skilled workers, but there is no financial room for people who need public welfare. The Bloomberg E-news states when talking about the Arizona census population:

    Tests of the limits and effectiveness of immigration policies and procedures are underway in Arizona, where the Hispanic population increased 46.3 percent between 2000 and 2010 to account for 29.6 percent of the 6.4 million residents. Of course the US Census didn’t distinguish between honest Legal and illegal persons which Obama’s Leftist Czars and thought was justified. NOTHING MORE NOTHING LESS! They are illegal as they broached the sovereignty of our border. If there was any true intention to seal our border from economic migrants, including the instant birthright baby, entry would have classed as a felony. Its illogical to think that the Greatest nation on Earth, cannot control the inflow of foreign national.
    NOT ONE WORD ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA ARE ILLEGAL? THIS MIGHT NOT IMPRESS YOU RIGHT NOW, UNTIL HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MORE START DRAINING YOUR STATE TREASURIES THEN THE INDIVIDUAL WILL DO SOMETHING? MY GUESS WHEN WE ARE OVERWHELMED BY POPULATION GROWTH AND A SHORTAGE OF OIL, ENERGY AND WATER, PEOPLE MAY TAKE NOTICE?
    All the US government has to do, is throw conniving business owners in prison, when they hire illegal aliens. Cross-Reference all documentation for person applying for welfare, seal the borders with troops and the double layer fence and amend the 14th Amendment. In addition every sponsor of family chain migration must be held accountable. Becoming a member of the Tea Party in your district will elect more positive thinking Candidates, to stop the bleeding of State treasuries, federal coffers and your rising taxes. Plain and simple-we cannot support the poor and indigent no more or we too will be sinking to a third world society.

  2. HernanadezUSA says:

    Every CEO on list that just to told the Senate they want to keep their illegals that they KNOW are working for them on their Staff and do NOT want Americans working for them.

    Then the Senate of AZ who once protected Americans caved in just like Utah and bent millions of Unemployed Americans over for cheap and uneducated criminals.

  3. Eli says:

    Also not to be missed (and among Arizona Republicans this has a big impact) was the shift that occurred the day before the CEO’s letter on the part of the LDS Church in stating clear support for the Utah Compact:

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51439173-76/bills-burton-church-immigration.html.csp

  4. Liz says:

    The letter from CEO’s cites fears of lost revenue from tourism and damage to business from boycotts, rather than their desire to employ undocumented workers.

    Also, the criminal argument, while often invoked to justify restrictions on immigration, is not supported by conclusive empirical evidence: http://articles.latimes.com/2010/may/03/nation/la-na-arizona-crime-20100503.

  5. Noah Kaplan says:

    I have to agree with Liz. As a former Arizona resident, I have seen the impact the state’s policies have had on its nationwide reputation, and then how that reputation had affected tourism and the state’s economy. The first round of anti-immigrant legislation had an immediate effect on Arizona, with nationwide boycotts on Arizona companies and on travel to Arizona, and even protests at Diamondbacks road games. Add to that the recent sweat lodge deaths (sweat lodges are part of Arizona’s “spiritual tourism” industry) and the Giffords shooting, and the last thing Arizona needs is more bad press.

    These are CEOs of major companies we’re talking about here, not small business owners out hiring day labor off the street. Though you’re probably right that some business owners benefit from the low cost labor of undocumented immigrants, CEOs of major corporations are not going to put their company at risk by hiring around state and federal laws. These CEOs recognize that Arizona’s national reputation is not good right now, and if they want to recruit employees and gain customers from outside the state, laws like this just don’t help. It was a political move by the right that got called out for what it was, a bad idea.

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