An Alabama law meant to crack down on illegal immigration may be so effective that the state won’t have enough immigrant labor to fill its labor requirements. Immigrant farm and construction workers, as well as their legal citizen relatives, are reportedly said to be leaving the state in such high numbers that some employers may have trouble filling openings if the economy picks up.
Described as the toughest immigration law in the country, it allows police to detain those suspected of being illegal immigrants and forces schools to verify the legal status of new students.
MSNBC quotes a landscaping company owner in the state who says an anti-Hispanic sentiment is keeping workers away: “They just feel like there is a negative atmosphere for them here. They don’t feel welcome. I don’t begrudge them. I’d feel nervous, too.”
The president of the Associated General Contractors of Alabama estimates that a quarter of the construction workforce has left since the law passed.
US state loses workers as immigration law kicks in [AP via MSNBC]