- Legal Industry
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According to a couple of economic observers and employers, the strict new immigration law of Alabama can potentially hurt business in the state.
Gov. Robert Bentley signed the new law earlier this month. It is supposedly designed to free up many jobs for citizens of Alabama and cut down government spending by denying illegal immigrants access any local or state benefits, as well as public colleges.
However, a number of immigration experts, business owners and economists say that most Americans do not want the jobs previously held by illegal immigrants. They also say that the law will only cost businesses with regards to increased regulation, legal fees, as well as in having to find more workers. All of these costs, naturally, will be passed on to the consumers in form of higher prices.
Andreas Rauterkus, an assistant professor of finance in the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said, “It will mean some local businesses will have to hire documented workers and will have to pay more. There is a reason why businesses use migrant and not documented workers….they can be hired for less. That cost will be transferred to consumers.”
He also said that he finds it unlikely that many Americans would work jobs that are typically performed by illegal immigrants. According to Rauterkus, it may depend on desperation with the ongoing recession “…but I believe it will be a lot more difficult for Americans to do jobs that illegals do,” he said. He mentioned as an example picking vegetables and fruits for long hours in hot weather.