Because it has prompted many groups to cancel scheduled meetings and conventions, Arizona's anti-immigration law, S.B. 1070, will cost the state $253 million in economic output and more than $86 million in lost wages over the next two to three years — all related to cancelled events — according to a report commissioned by the Center for American Progress, the results of which were released last week.
The study, conducted by Arizona-based Elliott D. Pollack & Company, found that losses from cancelled meetings total $141 million in direct spending by convention attendees.
"Citizens in other states must remain on high alert as politicians begin to talk about moving Arizona-like measures, especially in these fragile economic times," said Angela M. Kelley, the Center for American Progress' vice president for immigration policy and advocacy. "Clearly, the numbers show the economic train wreck that happens under this anti-immigrant strategy waged by politicians who pander to hyperbolic fears of immigrants. Taxpayers are the ones who will have to dig deeper in their pockets to make up for local budget shortfalls created by empty convention spaces."
The losses from cancelled meetings are only the beginning, according to the report, which notes that other types of commerce — including leisure travel, for instance — were not measured, but have been no less damaging.
"Even the narrow and targeted scope of this report shows that Arizona is facing severe economic and fiscal consequences," reads the report. "This report provides a clear window into the potentially catastrophic impacts of pursuing harsh, state-based immigration policies and should give other state legislatures pause before pursuing such measures."
For more information, or to download the complete report, visit www.americanprogress.org.