Supreme Court’s Arizona Ruling Hurts the Economy, as Well as People

The longer we go without creating sane immigration policy, the longer we rob the economy of $150 billion in economic activity a year, says Imara Jones.

By Kai Wright Jun 25, 2012

As’s Seth Freed Wessler reported, the Supreme Court this morning allowed the "show me your papers" provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 to be implemented. ([Read here for the quick details of the ruling.]( Seth and Monica Novoa will have in-depth analysis of the ruling tomorrow. Below Colorlines’ economic justice contributor Imara Jones chimes in on what the ruling means for the nation’s stalled economy: >Today’s Supreme Court ruling is another blow to jobs and hampers the economy’s ability to make a full recovery. > >In upholding the most controversial part of the law, the court insured that the War on Immigrants will continue to be fought across America. Several states have followed Arizona’s lead. More have vowed to do so. The bitter arguments which will result are set to fracture both the laws of land and inflame public opinion. > >Divided laws and a divided electorate will make comprehensive immigration reform, which would provide a path to citizenship and legal residency for the nation’s millions of undocumented immigrants, that much more difficult to achieve. > >The Center for American Progress estimates that comprehensive immigration reform would add $150 billion to our economy each year–$1.5 trillion over 10 years–through better wages and expanded education opportunities. An increase in economic activity on this scale would add 83,000 jobs a month, allowing us to generate more than 2x the number of jobs than we’ve been creating recently. > >With today’s opinion, not only has the court allowed a wrong to stand, it’s shot our economy in the foot.