State Capitol News
12:03 am
Tue January 8, 2008

Study suggests legal workers harmed by immigration

Phoenix, AZ – A new study suggests that legal workers
in this state are being harmed by those
who entered the country illegally.
Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer
reports.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas commissioned the
study by George Borjas, a professor of economic and
social policy at Harvard University. The study found
that Arizonans lose $1.4 billion a year in wages
because some companies hire undocumented workers who
are willing to do the jobs for less. And Thomas said
Borjas found the hardest hit are high school dropouts
who are the ones most likely to be competing with
illegal immigrants.

(This economic analysis concludes that the employer
sanctions law, if properly enforced, will help protect
and potentially raise the wages of Arizonans,
particularly working class Arizonans.)

The study comes as business groups are trying to void
the new law which subjects companies to potential
license suspension for knowingly hiring undocumented
workers. Foes of the law, which took effect Jan. 1, are
at least trying to have it suspended while questions
about its legality are litigated. They have their own
study saying the benefits of foreign workers to the
state economy outweighs any costs of illegal
immigration. But Thomas said this study should help
convince a federal judge that the real hardship would
be letting businesses continue hiring illegal
immigrants.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard
Fischer.