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U.T. Immigration Law Conference Presentation


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This is the keynote presentation made by Todd Landfried at the University of Texas Immigration Law Conference, held in Austin, TX on October 20-21, 2011.

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U.T. Immigration Law Conference Presentation

  1. 1. State Immigration LawsBad for Business? 1
  2. 2. Premises Of My Talk State immigration laws are bad ideas that do nothing other than encourage racial and ethnic divide and segregate entire states In no jurisdiction in the U.S. where these bills were passed have they “worked” to anyone’s benefit How did we get to this point? What should businesses in Texas and other states do? 2
  3. 3. Let’s Review - Nationally In 2011 and across all state legislatures: 1,592 immigration bills were introduced including 25 SB-1070 modeled bills Five (5) SB1070-like bills were were signed into law (20% success rate) 157 other immigration bills became law (16% success rate) Despite the hype and media coverage, harsh immigration failed 84% of the time in the year after SB 1070.Source: National Council of State Legislators 3
  4. 4. Let’s Review - Texas In the 2011 session, the Texas Legislature introduced 85 immigration-related bills 5 passed (94% failed) No SB1070-related bills passed No sanctuary city bills passed - including the special session Even in conservative Texas, harsh immigration bills failed to get out of committee 4
  5. 5. Failure Rates Metric National Texas Percentages 84% 94% Baseball Batting 0.160 0.052 Average Horse Racing 19-to-100 3-to-50 5
  6. 6. Enacted Legislation - Texas Most dealt with criminal aliens, record keeping or investigative authorities None dealt with issues that affected business, labor or commerce in any major way In short, Texas business got away unscathed Other jurisdictions who have passed these bills weren’t so lucky... 6
  7. 7. Farmers Branch, TX Referendum passed on May 17, 2007 68% to 32% Banned landlords from renting properties to undocumented immigrants with loss of licenses and fines up to $500/day Rationale: blamed rising unemployment and declines in the quality of public education, property values, and public health care on undocumented residents Costs: Five years of litigation costing over $3.7M; businesses lost customers and community suffers from poor PRSource: 7
  8. 8. Prince William County, VA Passed July 10, 2007 Ordinance requires PWC to check immigration status of any person at any time using “probable cause” Costs: $14.9M to train & enforce county officers, not county jurisdictional officers Foreclosures 3x regional level caused property values to plunge Business off 66% or worse within weeks Probable cause mandate repealed April 29, 2008 8
  9. 9. Hazelton, PA Ordinance passed in September 2007 Required employers to submit documentation to the town to prove work eligibility and status at the town’s request Allowed workers to sue employers for hiring undocumented workers Ordinance outlawed providing housing to undocumented residents. Results: $5M in lawsuit costs, increased vacancy rates, lower property values, businesses closed 9
  10. 10. State of Oklahoma Oklahoma Taxpayer & Citizen Protection Act of 2007 (HB1804) - May 2007 bars employers from hiring undocumented workers, revokes business licenses, makes it a felony to transport or shelter the undocumented; denies drivers licenses and removes state subsidies to the undocumented Urban Institute found little impact on public services from departure of the undocumented because they’re ineligible for benefits anyway Oklahoma Bankers Association study reported a loss of 90,000 unauthorized workers and families left, the net GSP loss is $1.9BSource: A Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Analysis of the Impact of the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 10
  11. 11. State of Arizona Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007 - September 2007 Mandated E-Verify statewide; imposed loss of business license penalties; allows any citizen to make allegations against any business Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act of 2010 (SB 1070) - July 29, 2010 Made “attrition through enforcement” official state policy; makes it illegal to hire day laborers; mandates impounding of vehicles used to transport any undocumented person; prohibits “sanctuary city” policies; allows private lawsuits of any government entity 11
  12. 12. State of Arizona Impacts of LAWA Has resulted in the hiring of fewer undocumented workers Caused reduction of undocumented population of 92,000 unrelated to the recession Dramatic shift to cash-based, self-employment Reduced employment in construction, retail, restaurant, and agriculture businessesSource: Public Policy Institute of California. 12
  13. 13. State of Arizona Impacts of SB 1070 $5M to train law enforcement in how to enforce these laws $186M in near-term convention and related tourism losses $14.4B loss in Arizona GSP with departure of 30% undocumented workers and families; $48.4B if they all leave 172,000 related job losses $40.7M loss in state tax revenues 13
  14. 14. Sound Good?Shrinking workforceSignificantl loss of consumersBusiness layoffs & closuresBroad tax base declineHome foreclosures up, values downDamage to business climateLoss of investment interest 14
  15. 15. They Did ItAnywayAlabamaIndianaGeorgiaSouth CarolinaUtah 15
  16. 16. Georgia: Learning The Hard Way Ignoring history and evidence of policy failures, GA bill was signed on May 12, 2011 Georgia felt the impact in days Farmers lost field workers during prime spring fruit harvest season and the state’s Farm Bureau projected immediate losses at $330M Governor Deal called for impact study less than 2 weeks AFTER the law was passed “Pilot” convict employment program for agriculture failed miserably 16
  17. 17. Alabama: Learning The Hard Way Also ignoring history, Alabama’s law signed on June 9, 2011 Alabama felt the impact within days Construction industry stalled as workers leave, slowing down rebuilding process following spring tornado storms Many businesses will lay off workers or close because they have no expectation that “American” workers will do the work Long-term growers of crops that are hand-picked are switching to crops that can be mechanized 17
  18. 18. Quiz Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of... 18
  19. 19. Quiz Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of... INSANITY 18
  20. 20. Quiz Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of... INSANITY 18
  21. 21. How Did We Get Here? 19
  22. 22. How Did We Get Here? 19
  23. 23. How Do We Get Out Of This? Create and Support Active Coalitions Business, faith, legal, and community leaders speaking out Broad community outreach and education Private and public meetings with elected officials Proactive use of social and traditional media Fund these efforts well -- your opponents are! 20
  24. 24. Successful Examples The approach of building coalitions, education, proactive media use and legislative interaction works: Utah - - along with the Utah Compact (another coalition effort), defeated HB 70 and spawned creation of innovative guest worker programs Kansas - defeated Kris Kobach’s HB 2372 in committee Texas - defeated copycat bills in regular and special legislative session Arizona - defeated five SB1070 follow-on bills 21
  25. 25. In Closing Down on the ground, in the field, in the trenches, with our sleeves rolled up, we know that coalitions can work wonders at the state house - create or join and support them Hold informational meetings throughout your state and invite everyone The message needs to be these laws don’t work anywhere, so why try them. What is past is prologue. Demand immigration reform become a Congressional issue - no one gets a pass Use the media, challenge every false statement and get in the game 22
  26. 26. Thank You Todd Landfried Arizona Employers for Immigration Reform Email: 23