To the editor:
The AP article reporting on state and local efforts to enforce federal immigration and residency policy was a bit behind the curve; this has been going on for a while. The current story is that places like Alabama that have passed legislation designed to be hostile to immigrants are seeing disastrous economic effects. Back in October, the Houston Chronicle reported that farmers in Alabama were facing ruin due to a labor shortage that left their crops rotting in the fields. Local business alliances have come out against Alabama’s immigration measures, and international firms are rethinking plans to invest in the state.
These unfolding events reinforce what White House economic advisers under the Bush administration have already found: that immigration, with or without border inspection of documents, was a net economic benefit to this country. People come to the U.S. don’t only follow jobs; they generate economic activity, which is exactly what we need right now.