Hatred has a price:
Every time a customer buys some of the large fabric tote bags from the Dollar Store at 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road, Najmuddin Katchi sees another piece of his business vanish. The purchase of the briefcase-sized shoulder bags means that another one of Katchi's customers, mostly Latino immigrants, is packing to leave the state before what is touted as the nation's toughest law against illegal immigrants takes effect July 29.
Katchi's store isn't the only business suffering. The vast shopping center that holds his small shop is almost empty. The Food City supermarket closed this spring. Then the furniture shop. Then the pizzeria. The giant apartment complex across the street, once brimming with tenants, is two-thirds vacant. Katchi is behind on his rent.
"The business is broken," said Katchi, who has operated his shop at this intersection for 14 years. "After the 29th of July, what happens? Maybe I have to close the store."
For the last 20 years, Arizona has been one of the fastest-growing states in the nation. It depends on an expanding population to power its economy, which relies heavily on the construction of new houses.
Arizona wanted to "drive out" illegal immigrants with its new law. Look like it's working—and the law isn't just driving out illegal immigrants, I suspect, but legal immigrants and native-born-but-brown American citizens who don't want to produce their papers every time they leave the house. Says Kos:
Anecdotally, scores of Latinos—both legal and undocumented—are leaving Arizona, tired of the demonization and harassment. The economic repercussions of that will take years to sort themselves out, regardless of what happens with the federal challenge of Arizona's SB 1070. Arizona immigrants pumped $29 billion into the state's economy every year, or 8 percent of its activity. Give up a chunk of that, as well as losses from tourism (and particularly international tourism, most of it from Mexico), and Arizona Republicans have suddenly inflicted a great deal of economic pain on themselves.
The bigots in Arizona could argue that they're the real victims: the immigrants and minorities who refuse to stick around and be abused—I'm using NOM's logic here—are punishing them for their political views!