Monday, April 25, 2011

Was SB1070 A Success For Arizona? Pearce Claims U-Haul Rentals Prove It Was. Problem Is, He's Lying.

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Russell Pearce is getting increasingly desperate to claim that Arizona's police-state immigration law, SB1070, has been a big success for the state.

So much so that now he's just making shit up:
State Senator Russell Pearce claimed this week he has proof that the controversial illegal immigration legislation is doing its job in Arizona.

Pearce, who authored SB 1070, points to a rise in U-Haul rentals as evidence that Arizona's tough immigration law is forcing illegal immigrants to leave the state. But does Pearce's claim hold true?

... Now that SB 1070 is approaching its one year anniversary, Senator Pearce has claimed that illegal immigrants are leaving Arizona "in caravans" and that U-Haul is busier than ever with one-way trips leaving the state. 9 On Your Side called U-Haul to check on Pearce's claim.

However, the truck rental company confirmed to KGUN9 News, since SB 1070 became law, it's helped 0.5% more people move into than out of Arizona in 2010. These same numbers spiked to double digits, 13.2% to be exact, during the first three months of 2011. Therefore, according to U-Haul, its numbers prove Pearce's claim may not be entirely accurate after all.
Or you could just call it a lie. Because that's what it is.

Especially because we already know that SB1070 has been an unmitigated economic disaster for Arizona:
“I don’t believe that anyone, including myself, foresaw the national and international reaction” to April’s bill, said Glenn Hamer, chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who said estimates of lost tourism business ranged from $15 million to $150 million. “Now we have that experience under our belts. We know these measures can cause economic damage; it’s just a matter of degree.”
The tourism and image-related business losses were only the tip of the iceberg, though, when it comes to the damage inflicted on the state by SB1070 and its related anti-immigration measures. As we've explained previously, simply deporting and/or driving out all the state's undocumented immigrants would have disastrous economic consequences on a broad basis for the state -- some of which are already being felt.

A new study from the Center for American Progress, "A Rising Tide or a Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact of Legalization Versus Deportation in Arizona" lays it all out in great detail:
The economic analysis in this report shows the S.B. 1070 approach would have devastating economic consequences if its goals were accomplished. When undocumented workers are taken out of the economy, the jobs they support through their labor, consumption, and tax payments disappear as well. Particularly during a time of profound economic uncertainty, the type of economic dislocation envisioned by S.B. 1070-type policies runs directly counter to the interests of our nation as we continue to struggle to distance ourselves from the ravages of the Great Recession.

Conversely, our analysis shows that legalizing undocumented immigrants in Arizona would yield a significant positive economic impact. Based on the historical results of the last legalization program under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, our analysis shows a similar program would increase wages not only for immigrants but also for their native-born co-workers. This would generate more tax revenue and more consumer and business spending, supporting additional jobs throughout the economy.

Public debate over the wisdom of laws such as S.B. 1070 is heated but generally lacking in substance. The proponents of S.B. 1070 and related legislation now under debate in other cities and states claim to be acting in the best economic interests of native-born Americans, but as this report demonstrates, their claim is wholly unsubstantiated.

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