Of course the law has had the biggest effect on immigrants, both legal and illegal, and Latinos generally. Researchers at BBVA Bancomer, a Mexican bank, this month estimated that 100,000 Hispanics, mostly of Mexican descent, have already left Arizona, for Mexico or for other states, because of SB1070. This means a lot of upheaval for families and individuals, and for Arizona’s economy. Ethnic Mexicans, whether native or immigrant, are younger on average than Anglos, reducing the average age of greying Arizona’s population. And immigrants pay more in taxes than they send to Mexico in remittances. Above all, they tend to have jobs—on construction sites, in hotels and homes—that do not replace but complement American jobs, according to BBVA Bancomer. A permanent decline in the immigrant population could thus destroy many more jobs than just those of the immigrants.
As I look at how the economy is resetting during the recovery, Arizona is an obvious loser. Georgia is a less obvious one. Can the Rust Belt step up its game?