Thursday, May 22, 2008

AZ GOP Strikes Again at State's Economic Base

Two bits of news today that might be of interest to our AZ state legislature.

One: A just-released April 2008 economic analysis shows a LOSS of $1.757 TRILLION in spending, a LOSS of $651.511 billion in output, and a LOSS of 8.1 million jobs nationwide if current hard-line Rightwing expulsion policies are pursued.

This is not news in Arizona, reeling from severe losses in both the construction and the agriculture sectors due to hard-line anti-immigrant policies championed by GOP leaders like Rep. Russell Pearce and his allies.

The study is titled "An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Undocumented Workers on Business Activity in the US with Estimate Effects by State and Industry." A PDF file can be downloaded from Americans for Immigration Reform.

Two, AP reports that AZ GOP Rep. John Kavanagh's bill to prevent day laborers from seeking jobs at public streets, sidewalks, and even certain private property made it through our state legislature:

Initial OK given to Senate bill on day laborers
Associated Press
May. 20, 2008 01:29 PM

A bill to prohibit day laborers from seeking work on public streets and sidewalks and private property under some circumstances is nearing the finish line at the Legislature but faces an uncertain fate after that.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh. The Fountain Hills Republican says it applies both to day laborers and those who hire them.

The state Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to the House-passed bill.

Kavanagh says the bill is intended to lessen the traffic disruptions caused by day laborers and, as a secondary benefit, help lessen the state's problems with illegal immigration.
What Kavanagh says and the truth seem to have nothing in common. His bill is an attack on documented and undocumented Latino day laborers--specifically those at the Macehualli Center and others that might develop like it. It also targets citizens and green-card holders from waiting in areas near home repair stores and garden centers looking for day jobs, and would affect immigrants, citizens, resident aliens, Latinos, Anglos, African Americans, and everybody else who does free-lance day labor.

I call it the "Keep Arizonans Unemployed Act, Part II," and can't tell you how much I look forward to Parts III and IV.

Obviously, Arizona's Republican lawmakers have decided to declare all-out war on the state's economy. Maybe it's retaliation for that Clinton vote in 2000?