Monday, February 11, 2008

State laws punishing the employers of "illegal immigrants" seem to be very effective at encouraging "illegal immigrants" to leave the state--whether for their native countries or other, more "undocumented"-friendly states. In Oklahoma and Arizona, two states which have passed employer-enforcement laws, the "undocumented" seem to be leaving in large numbers. For example, in two Oklahoma cities:
In Tulsa, Okla., the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has estimated that 15,000 to 25,000 illegal immigrants have left the area. One builder estimated that 30 percent of the Hispanic work force left Tulsa.

"There's been a tremendous impact in Oklahoma City," said David Castillo, the executive director of the Greater Oklahoma City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "We've had several companies close shop and leave the state. Banks have called us and say they're closing 30 accounts per week."

Arizona also seems to be experiencing an outflow of the "undocumented."

Where are they going? Maybe Texas:

Texas' reputation as a welcoming destination has experts predicting more immigrants will come to Houston and other cities in the state. Texas has not passed any statewide law targeting the employment of undocumented workers.

"Texas is still very much an entrepreneurial place, where you can find your place in this economy," said James Hollifield, a Southern Methodist University professor and migration expert. "It's not an immigrant's paradise, but if you work hard and keep your head down you can get ahead."

Ortiz, a native of southern Mexican state of Tabasco, said he left Phoenix eight months ago working 60 to 70 hours a week as a nursery worker. While now he can only pick up two to three days a week of yardwork and barely earns enough to send back to his family, he prefers to be in Texas.

"Here, they let you work. Over there, they won't. There is a lot of racism, but here there isn't -- it's better," Ortiz said of Houston.