Tough immigration law forces Hispanics out of Arizona: report

07:43, June 10, 2010      

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Arizona's tough new immigration law has forced Hispanics to move out of the U.S. state, USA Today reported Wednesday.

Though there is currently no accurate figures as to how many left the state in anticipation of the law, which is due to go into effect on July 29, the newspaper drew the conclusion from reports from school officials, businesses and individuals.

The Balsz Elementary School District, which is 75 percent Hispanic, reported that parents of 70 students pulled them out of school within a month of the law's passage in April. The district only lost seven students over the same period last year.

Arizona's controversial immigration law empowers local law enforcement to check the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally.

The state also witnessed a decline in businesses serving the Hispanic community, signaling that illegal immigrants were holding on to cash in anticipation of a move, said David Castillo, co-founder of the Latin Association of Arizona, a chamber of commerce for nearly 400 first-generation Hispanic business owners.

About 100,000 illegal immigrants left Arizona after the state passed a law in 2007 that enhanced penalties on businesses that hired them, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

The new immigration legislation in Arizona and the stagnation of comprehensive immigration reform in Congress have made President Barack Obama less favorable with Hispanics.

A recent Gallup poll shows Hispanics' approval of Obama's performance slipped seven points in the week after the president made statements at the end of April in which he essentially removed comprehensive immigration reform from his legislative agenda for 2010.

Source: Xinhua


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