Posted by on September 20, 2012 in Blog

Although the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is still considering the legality of Arizona’s “Papers, please” provision, which requires officers to request proof of the immigration status of anyone they’ve pulled over and suspect of being in the U.S. illegally. Nonetheless, on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton approved immediate enforcement of the provision.

This week, some civil rights activists have organized rallies and protests around the state, while others are manning hotlines to advise people of their rights if they’re questioned. A Department of Justice hotline, established in June 2012, continues to operate in the state. Civil liberties advocates like Leticia Ramirez are suggesting that legal immigrants provide only their name and date of birth — but no documents showing their place of birth — in protest of the law.

Now for the good news: Michigan is among several states actively seeking immigrants as a way to fuel economic growth. A report by Standard & Poor documented economic growth in cities with significant immigrant populations, with increased per-capita income in cities with high foreign immigrant populations. Far from taking U.S. jobs, they are more likely to be self-employed. According to the Small Business Administration, immigrants represent 18% of small business owners. One-third of American engineers and more than a quarter of our computer scientists are immigrants. More than 75% of the patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities were submitted by immigrants.

In fact, a 10-year Fiscal Policy Institute study found that, in the nation’s 25 largest metropolitan areas, economic growth was directly linked to immigration. For this reason, local officials from Baltimore, Maryland to Dayton, Ohio are creating incentive programs to attract immigrants — from offering foreign-language nutrition classes to fostering connections with investors and employers.  Widening the policy gap between Maryland and Arizona is a directive from Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake thatprevents authorities from asking city residents about their immigration status.

Click here to read more about Immigration Reform from AAI.

comments powered by Disqus