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Cristina Jimenez

The Cost of Kicking Immigrants Out of Oklahoma

Despite the negative backlash against Arizona for adopting a new immigration law that promotes racial profiling (e.g., boycotts, local and federal lawsuits, and efforts to take next year’s All-Star game out of Phoenix) some states are considering similar laws.

Oklahoma state representative Randy Terrill, who not surprisingly is a Republican, wants to enact legislation similar to Arizona’s. Mr. Terill, who seems to have a good relationship with the Federation for American Immigration Reform, an organization said to have ties with white supremacists and identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that his idea is to “slowly but surely roll down the welcome mat for illegals.” I guess that also means taking away millions of dollars from the state’s economy.

The reality is that like in Arizona, immigrants documented and undocumented, are an important part of Oklahoma’s economy. According to the Immigration Policy Center, the 2009 purchasing power of Latinos in Oklahoma totaled $5.8 billion and Asian buying power totaled $2.1 billion. So Mr. Terill, here’s a quick reality check for you, if you “slowly but surely roll down the welcome mat for illegals” and kick out all undocumented immigrants from Oklahoma, the state would lose $580.3 million in economic activity, $257.8 million in gross state product, and approximately 4,680 jobs.

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Posted at 12:00 PM, May 13, 2010 in Immigration
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