Tuesday, June 15, 2010

After SB 1070, the Exodus?

Via Mexico Portal, the NY Daily News (among others) reports that Hispanics are fleeing Arizona in droves as a response to SB 1070, but the numbers at this point --for instance, one school district says it has lost 70 students, another predicts that it will lose 200 to 300-- are pretty tame. That's not to say that many more won't leave in the future (after all, changing your state of residence isn't like getting a new library card), but this doesn't appear to be a mass exodus just yet. This quote, buried in the late paragraphs, pretty much sums up my expectations:
David Gutierrez, an immigration history professor at the University of California San Diego, said he is hesitant to predict that the law will have a dramatic impact on the numbers of Arizona Hispanics. “I don’t see a historical trend that has been in place for 100 years will be reversed because you’ve got a few hyper-conservative white legislators trying to turn back the clock, turn back the tides of history,” he told the Christian Science Monitor.
Right. Of course, new people and businesses moving to Arizona will surely be put off, and that's to say nothing of whether or not, from a strictly moral standpoint, we should be targeting a specific group of people and jailing them on the spot if they don't have their papers. This law doesn't lack for reasons for opposition, but the mass departure of Hispanics doesn't seem to be one, at least not yet.

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