A Suitable Response
Arizona established itself over the past year as the most aggressive state in cracking down on illegal immigrants, gaining so much momentum with its efforts that several other states vowed to follow suit. But now the harsh realities of economics appear to have intruded, and Arizona may be looking to shed the image of hard-line anti-immigration pioneer.
In an abrupt change of course, Arizona lawmakers rejected new anti-immigration measures on Thursday, in what was widely seen as capitulation to pressure from business executives and an admission that the state’s tough stance had resulted in a chilling of the normally robust tourism and convention industry. [Emphasis added]
The five bills put before the Republican majority state senate included such gems as requiring hospitals to report to law enforcement any patients suspected of being in the country illegally and challenging the US Constitution on granting citizenship to children born in the US of parents here illegally. While it would have been nice if the bills were defeated because they were so mean spirited and xenophobic, that they were defeated in the state that brought the battle on was at least some comfort.
Of even greater comfort, however, is the fact that enough Americans were appalled by the initial Arizona legislation that they engaged in one of the more effective forms of protest in this country: the economic boycott. Once again, it worked. Business interests were hurt, and business doesn't like to be hurt.
A letter signed by 60 state business leaders this week blamed last year’s bill for boycotts, canceled contracts, declining sales and other economic setbacks.
“Arizona’s lawmakers and citizens are right to be concerned about illegal immigration,” the letter said. “But we must acknowledge that when Arizona goes it alone on this issue, unintended consequences inevitably occur.”
Being evil is sometimes bad for business.
Who could have imagined.