Inadvertent Slip

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AFP has a dramatic, sob-story article about how Arizona's anti-illegal immigration law is beginning to cause what they dub 'Hispanic Panic.' It seems employers are firing illegals, many of whom are fleeing the state, either back to Mexico or to other states. But they apparently slipped in telling this narrative and left something in that bears paying attention to.

PHOENIX, Arizona (AFP) – One month after Arizona introduced a law cracking down on businesses which employ illegal immigrants, Latino workers are fleeing the state and companies are laying off employees in droves, officials and activists say.
Arizona has become one of the frontlines of the US immigration debate and broke new ground on January 1 with a law that threatens to put of business companies which knowingly hire undocumented workers.

The effects of the law have been immediate, according to businessmen, workers and rights activists who spoke to AFP, with companies driving up wages to attract labor while being forced to part company with prized employees.

Even though a federal judge ruled last week that there will be no prosecutions under the law until March, it has done little to prevent a phenomenon being dubbed "Hispanic Panic."

"There's a lot of fear and some people are leaving," said Salvador Reza, an immigrant-rights activist who runs a day labor center in Phoenix.

"The fear is not only at the worker level, it's at the employer level. I've never seen that before in my life."

Workers are going back to Mexico or to other states, Reza said. He predicted small businesses forced to lay off skilled employees like welders will now pay them in cash, creating a black economy.

"The underground economy is going to take hold now, and there will be less money for the state," Reza said.

Ten men were laid off at Ironco, a steel fabrication company in Phoenix which builds large-scale construction projects.

"We had to let them go," president Sheridan Bailey said. "Unfortunately some of these people were our best workers. This is terribly tragic."

Two out of three men who apply at Ironco, a construction firm that specialises in buildings and parking garages made with heavy steel, are Hispanic or foreign-born Hispanic, the company said.

Ironco has raised steel fitters' wages 30 percent from a year ago, according to Bailey. "We've raised wages, competing for a diminishing supply (of workers)," he said. "WeÂ?ve been on a campaign of quality improvement, training, scouring the waterfront, so to speak, for American vets, ex-offenders trying to find their way back into society."

Catch that? Wages have risen 30% for legal workers. They have been trying to hire people who have been forced to the margins of society due to a flood of cheap, illegal workers. And they are paying much better wages in order to do so. High fence, wide gate and a hearty welcome for those who play by the rules. And higher real wages for those who do.

I don't think they meant to tell that in their narrative.

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2 Responses to Inadvertent Slip

  1. Uncle Pinky says:

    They also left out the bit where Mexican officials from Sonora came to Arizona to complain that they couldn’t handle the returning workers.

    “How can they pass a law like this?” asked Mexican Rep. Leticia Amparano Gamez, who represents Nogales.

    “Mexico is not prepared for this, for the tremendous problems” it will face as more and more Mexicans working in Arizona and sending money to their families return to hometowns in Sonora without jobs, she said.

    I wouldn’t have expected them to put something like that in, something that shows … oh, I dunno, Mexican infrastructure failure, because the U.S. is the bad guy. Right?

    Ironco seems to feel so.

    … scouring the waterfront, so to speak, for American vets, ex-offenders trying to find their way back into society.

    Vets, ex-cons … same-same, right? Industrious illegals can work as steel fitters, or it can be cons and psycho vets (as the NYT so helpfully informs us).

    President Bailey is taking this hard. And ugly.

  2. martian says:

    It’s like I have been saying for some time now – pass laws that make it so onerous to employ illegals that Americans don’t hire them anymore. The result would be (and apparently has been in Arizona) that there would be no jobs for illegals. If illegals can’t get work THEY WON’T COME HERE ILLEGALLY! There would be no point. It seems there’s an added benefit that I hadn’t anticipated – if there’s no work, illegals who are already here go home! The rest of the country would do well to take a lesson from Arizona.

    As for the Mexicans complaining that they can’t handle the influx of THEIR OWN PEOPLE RETURNING HOME, well that’s just to darn bad! In saying so they are just admitting that they are incapable of taking care of their own people and have been depending on the U.S. and our economy to support theirs!

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