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Mitt Romney's "Self-Deportation" Immigration Plan On Display in Alabama with an $11B Price Tag

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University of Alabama Economist Shows Why Romney’s Immigration Approach Would Be Devastating to U.S. Economy 

Mitt Romney has made “self-deportation” the cornerstone of his immigration policy approach.  Romney’s immigration plan is ripped straight from the playbook of the anti-immigrant movement, especially Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is an unpaid Romney advisor on immigration matters.  Kobach is the architect of a series of state-based laws in Alabama, Arizona, and elsewhere based on the “principle” of “self-deportation.”  Now, a new cost-benefit analysis of Alabama’s “papers, please” anti-immigration law demonstrates the devastating economic toll incurred by the Romney/Kobach approach.   

The new study from University of Alabama economist Dr. Samuel Addy, the director of the University’s Center for Business and Economic Research, estimates that implementation of Alabama’s anti-immigrant law would shrink the state’s GDP by “possibly as much as $10.8 billion.”  Dr. Addy concludes that  “Instead of boosting state economic growth, the law is certain to be a drag on economic development even without considering costs associated with its implementation and enforcement…While the law’s costs are certain and some are large, it is not clear that the benefits will be realized.” 

Dr. Addy wrote, “Assuming that the law causes 40,000-80,000 unauthorized immigrant workers who earn $15,000-35,000 a year to leave the state, the resulting decline in aggregate demand would have annual economic and fiscal impacts of reductions of about (i) 70,000-140,000 jobs with $1.2-5.8 billion in earnings, (ii) $2.3-10.8 billion in Alabama GDP or 1.3-6.2 percent of the state’s $172.6 billion GDP in 2010, (iii) $56.7-264.5 million in state income and sales tax collections, and (iv) $20.0-93.1 million in local sales tax collections. The law is well-intentioned but just one cost component, the impact of the reduction in aggregate demand that the law causes, shows that the law will be costly to the state even without considering other costs.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice Education Fund, “Mitt Romney wants to do for the nation what’s been done to Alabama.  Not only is the Romney/Kobach approach inhumane, but it would be a tremendous drain on our economy as well.  Immigrants aren’t just workers, they are also taxpayers and consumers.  In their anti-immigrant zeal, Mitt Romney has joined nativists intent on ignoring basic economics, not to mention core American principles of dignity and humanity.”

Read Dr. Addy’s Study, “A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the New Alabama Immigration Law”

America’s Voice Education Fund — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.