Constitution / Featured / Labor

Louisiana Next in Line for Arizona Illegal Immigration Bill, and Its Consequences

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D.C. think tank claims tourism industry could be hit hard

BATON ROUGE, La. – Arizona’s controversial immigration law is coming to Louisiana, at least if Rep. Ernest Wooton’s (I – Belle Chasse) “Louisiana Citizens Protection Act” passes.

HB 411, already introduced to the House on April 25, would require law enforcement officers that conduct lawful stops to determine citizenship status of detainees, where reasonable suspicion exists. Similar legislation is pending in Utah, Georgia, Colorado, and Florida.

What counts as worthy of suspicion is not immediately clear, since the bill specifies that law enforcement cannot use race, color, or national origin as a means of enforcing the law. Individual officers will have to use their own discretion, which leaves the door open for accusations of stereotyping.

And a recent comment by Rep. Wooten didn’t exactly lay such fears to rest. “I’m not a racial profiler, but where do you draw the line?” he said.

The bill specifically targets people who hire day laborers off the streets, since it states that the knowing transportation or shelter of illegal immigrants with intent to avert enforcement officials will become against the law.

The legislation comes on the heels of a study from the Pew Hispanic Institute which claims the number of illegal immigrants in Louisiana has doubled since 2007.

Paul Donnelly, staff member from 1993-1997 on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform, claims the real problem with this type of legislation is that federal courts will shoot it down. Currently the states, he says, cannot enact their own immigration policies because that would violate federal law.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an injunction that prohibited certain sections of the Arizona bill from becoming law. These include requiring police to question people’s immigration status, requiring immigrants to carry immigration papers, making it a criminal offense for illegal immigrants to seek employment, and allowing authorities to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without a warrant.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer is currently petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the lower courts ruling against the controversial Arizona bill, although certain portions of the bill were not challenged. Notably, the stipulation that prohibits stopping a vehicle in traffic to pick up day laborers and the state-led prohibition of sanctuary cities.

Donnelly claims there is no doubt that legislation aiming to punish illegal aliens, “sends a less than welcoming signal to legal immigrants and foreign visitors.” His preference is to block employment opportunities by closing “the back door to illegal immigration, which means fixing E-Verify so it works.”

Aside from legal difficulties, a 2010 report from the Center for American Progress suggests that Arizona experienced significant economic hardship after it enacted the controversial legislation, particularly in the tourism industry. Arizona lost out on over 40 conventions, which translated to $141 million in forgone revenue, $9.4 million in tax revenue, and a loss of 2,761 jobs.

“This report provides a clear window into the potentially catastrophic impacts of pursuing harsh, state-based immigration policies.”

For example, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., an historically black fraternity, moved it’s convention from Phoenix to Las Vegas to protest passage of the Arizona legislation. The Las Vegas Convention and Visiting Authorities claim this convention alone created a $1.1 million economic impact.

Danny Court, senior economist at the Elliot D. Pollack, & Co. – an Arizona-based consulting firm – claims that the economic effects in Arizona will not be short-lived.

“This loss in economic activity is expected to be spread over multiple years.”

The report comes after the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitor’s Bureau faces a $2.3 million budget shortfall for 2011, even after receiving $8.2 million in taxpayer funded grants.

The Reason Foundation has reported that two thirds of illegal immigrants do pay Medicare, Social Security, personal income taxes, and sales taxes, while the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy estimates that in 2010 illegal immigrants generated $11.2 billion in state and local taxes.

Conversely, the Center for Immigration Studies claims that 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) with children under 18 use at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent of native households. This in line with the perception that immigrants burden the welfare system, which the Heritage Foundation projects will cost U.S. taxpayers $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years.


Robert Ross is a researcher and social media strategist with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He can be contacted at, and you can follow him on twitter.


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  • wigglwagon

    “Donnelly claims there is no doubt that legislation aiming to punish illegal aliens, “sends a less than welcoming signal to legal immigrants and foreign visitors.”

    That is nonsense. What could be more welcoming than protecting work opportunities and wages for legal immigrants and legal residents? What is truly unwelcoming is a community with no respect for it’s laws.

  • Anonymous

    Is this going to be enforced by the same corrupt police department that’s under justice department review? Clearly the leadership of Louisiana doesn’t care about liberty of civil rights I suspect proving southern republicans are against the constitution.

  • Anonymous

    They cost more than they pay!! I’m sick of our laws not being enforced and if this stops anyone from comming here then stay where the hell your at! You need to do your homework because all you have to do is look around and you will see that they have drove down wages and cost alot of americans jobs. I’m sick of bleeding hearts! Now look at what they are doing now with Arizona. They what to split up Arizona and become the 51 state. Enough said!

    • I’m so sick and tired of listening to this recycled ideological BS. Stop using the same old tired rhetoric to convey a point that is neither yours nor logical.

      Don’t we have more pressing things to give our attention to? As a city and as a nation?

      Try to think for yourself and stop re-grugatating things that you hear. You guys are like serial killers; you fit a very specific profile that I won’t dwell into. Wake up and see the pattern! Do you think it’s a coincidence that your just parroting rhetoric? Your being controlled without even knowing that your being controlled! People are telling you what to think, just pay attention and it becomes evident!

      By “I’m sick of bleeding hearts” do you really mean, “I’m sick of people who care about other people”? And I’ll bet you call your self a Christian. Oh the irony!

      I am an Hispanic American, better yet a Hispanic New Orleanian! Born, raised, and still here! And yes, also the son of immigrant JUST AS YOU ARE, Though, most likely generations before yourself.

      What’s the difference? The only difference I see with your hypocritical argument is skin color. You try to mask it by using the word “American” in your arguments but we know that “American” is metaphorical for something else.

      Let’s be realistic, your perception of an “American” is no doubt equal in appearance to that portrait of Jesus that you have hanging on your wall. And don’t give me that ridiculous “Don’t play the race card” BS. It’s funny, I’ve never heard a person of color utter those words….EVER!

      Starting to see the pattern?

      But a last, all is not lost! It starts with choice! You can choose to care about someone other than yourself for a change! You can choose to have some compassion for the plight of others for a change! You can choose to practice some patience, you can choose to live a more virtuous life and not one of condemnation. These are all of course your “choice” and you can choose to continue to live your life with hate, and anger, and disgust, and bitterness, and negativity, and etc.

      If the saying, “what goes around comes around” has any validity, and it does, then I’d much rather take my chances with the virtues, since that’s probably what you claim to adhere to anyway.

      Wake up my friend,

      Your brotha from another motha!

      • Anonymous

        You don’t believe in the rule of law! When the next drunk illegal runs down your family and kills them, don’t cry about it because you brought this on yourself!  Just like the illegal that killed the woman in Lafreniere Park. Talk to their family. The United States didn’t have welfare when they came through Ellis Island. The people took care of themself and their families and helped build this country. Not this bunch, they cross and have kid after kid so that we the tax payer can support them. My family has been here since 1620 and we helped built this country. I pay enough taxes and I would rather it go to law abiding citizens than criminals that don’t respect the United States laws! They cross ilegally and parade with their flags and demand rights, the only right they have is to get OUT of my country! GOT IT!!!

        • Anonymous

          correction 1648! 

        • Anonymous

          Come on guy…..Really??!! I guess you told me….Out of “YOUR” country? Seriously sir, you lack a viewpoint of knowledge, don’t worry though, Imma help ya out.

          1) Just because something is a “law” doesn’t make it right! Laws change ALL THE TIME. Do you know how many laws of the day your ancestors broke when they came here to escape persecution and oppression??!! Your ancestors came to make a better life for themselves correct? What do you think these people are trying to do? When your family arrived in America they were IMMIGRANTS and probably shunned in much the same way that you are doing now.

          2) “When the next drunk illegal runs down your family and kills them, don’t cry about it because you brought this on yourself!”……Ahhh yes, because only illegals drink and drive. No other has ever done such a thing in the state of Louisiana!……That’s what we call sarcasm sir…..I had to chuckle a little at that one. Lol. I don’t need to mention how ridiculous this statement is do I? Moving forward, try to keep up.

          3) When did we get on the subject of welfare? Oh the rhetoric again, how consistent it is…You do realize we spend more tax payer money on “policing” the border than any welfare program to date. Illegals with welfare? Don’t you have to be documented to even qualify for welfare? These people stay far away from any form of government my friend. Get your facts right and don’t just dribble non-sense out of your mouth. Besides, you do realize that, statistically speaking, The LARGE “majority” of welfare recipients are WHITE….That’s right, go look it up! Poor Caucasian folk comprise the welfare state! Although this is true, most of your “Americans” still believe that welfare is a minority thing…..Wrong. Cry to them about your tax dollars sir. Still with me?

          4) 1620 you say?! So that’s why you say “MY COUNTRY!” It makes sense now, when your family got here there was no America. You guys built it all! What an accomplishment….bravo….You do realize that the people you call “Illegals” played an equally important role in the building of America and were then pushed into Mexico from Cali and the southern states when they were no longer needed and then held there by an imaginary line….People from ALL walks of life have significantly contributed to this country in one way or another. America belongs to no one person, race, or ideology. It belongs to us all!

          5) We all have rights my friend, we are all one race of people. It is in our best interest to take care of each other as we are all related somewhere down the line and poverty affects everyone, not just the poor. Remember the Golden Rule? The one that goes “Do unto others”? Try it sometime, it just may change your life.

          I know that these words will probably fall on deaf ears but I had to try. Either way, if I don’t speak with you on here again my friend maybe we can catch up next year for Cinco De Mayo since I know how much you love the food….just not the people. Don’t take it personally if I slap a taco out yo hand while screaming AMERICA as it is my sworn patriotic duty to save you from your own hypocrisy……

          With best,

          Your brotha from another motha!

          •  What an arrogant, condescending gas bag… losing hearts & minds… and the argument.

      • mikemike0506

        look why dont you go fight for your rights in your native land or country,why go through the pain and misery of being so where youre not wanted or welcomed. go fight those courpt leaders in mexico. demand your place in your native land, americas broke thanks to illegal immigration,you think were supposed to starve .wake [up] and smell the coffee

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  • For the record, Arizona’s tourism industry is off exactly the same as the national stats overall, about 6% from its peak in ’07. There IS simply no statistical evidence available (unless you count the 1.05 MILLION unsubstantiated stories Google shows that have been written about it) to back up the claim that it was SB1070 and its position on illegal immigration that caused the downturn.

    If anything, the additional national exposure that elevated an essentially local matter into a national debate, and an enduring backlash “Buycott”, has increased the rubber-neck factor. You see, in down-and-dirty guerilla marketing there is no such thing as bad press, and remember… Arizona is and has always been a red state, so conservatism is neither surprising nor offensive to those who expect and embrace it.

    See most recent facts:

    #arizona #tourism #economy #losmojados #1070 #republic #democracy #wethepeople

  • ra

    i think our growing and effective, anti immigration movement. needs to start branching out or transitioning to challanging all work visas. Then resident status. Finally go after the big coohoona and that is non european migration. making that illiegal. hey but rome wasnt built in a day. so far good job anti immigraiotn movement i couldnt be prouder. We have to get all these foriegners off our soil. by law or economic incentive.

  • im tired of all the stupid racist americans hispanic people do the work u lazy americans don’t want to do all those people at the foodstamp complain their r no jobs and pay a car note instead of feeding their family’s. hispanic people don’t have food stams, wic,medicaid , or any kind of help from their goverment they come here to america to live the dream but they cant get in cause of raicst americans so they sneek in to have a piece of the pie to. 

    • mikemike0506

      i understand all what you are saying,but understand this,the dinner tables full theres no more room. i hope you dont think for one minute,that we should starve just to keep feeding illegals, as a black man in amerkkk, i wish i had a country a couple hundred miles away,i would go back and fight for whats rightfully mine from my ancestors. instead of begging people to accept you. that will never happen