Is Arizona’s Anti-Immigration Bill “Already Working”?

Raul Grijalva is leading the charge to protest SB 1070 -- by trying to bankrupt the state with boycotts. Y'know, if state legislators won't listen to reason...

Yesterday, CNN’s Jack Cafferty wrote a (racist) column suggesting that SB 1070 is “already working” to stop illegal immigration. His evidence: Mexico recently issued a travel advisory alert warning Mexican citizens that they may be racially harassed if they visit Arizona. Touting the usual right-wing propaganda, Cafferty cites the  usual, anti-Latino tropes about the illegal immigration “problem”: he thinks all illegal immigrants are Mexican, and all Mexicans are violent, sociopathic drug lords.

That being said — could SB 1070 already be “working”, but in a manner harmful to Arizona’s economy? City officials around the country are joining Congressman Raul Grijalva in calling for an economic boycott of Arizona. And University of Arizona president Robert Shelton sent an email to the campus this morning, saying that campus police will enforce SB 1070 if the law comes into effect. But, Shelton also included the following paragraphs in his statement:

We have already begun to feel an impact from SB1070. The families of a number of out-of-state students (to date all of them honors students) have told us that they are changing their plans and will be sending their children to universities in other states.  This should sadden anyone who cares about attracting the best and brightest students to Arizona.

Additionally, large numbers of UA students, faculty, staff and appointed professionals have expressed concerns that they or members of their families or their friends may now be subject to unwarranted detainment by police.  Many of these individuals are from families that have been residents of Arizona for generations.  While I am completely confident that no one need fear the way that UAPD will approach the application of this law, I nevertheless appreciate the anxiety that friends and colleagues are feeling.  It is a concern and fear that no one should have to harbor.

If Shelton is correct (and there’s no reason to think he would be lying on this point), Arizona is already suffering a blow when it comes to attracting high-quality students to the state. For a state already suffering from enough brain drain that we rank last in the country when it comes to education, Arizona can ill-afford losing this kind of ground when it comes to academia. And we all know that poorer state-wide educatin leads to poorer state-wide economy and fewer jobs — something Arionza should know all too well since Arizona’s state government is virtually bankrupt.

So clearly, SB 1070 is already working — to drive another nail into Arizona’s coffin.

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