The controversial immigration law SB 1070 has apparently affected Arizona’s construction industry since the bill was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.
Dan Withers, president of D.L. Withers Construction, said the bill negatively impacted the overall labor force and “tourism tax dollars” because of the declining construction jobs in the Valley.
“We already had a 50 percent reduction in labor in this state, so we were already hurting,” Withers told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR’s Bruce St. James Show. “When all those tax revenues dropped and capital improvements started dropping, we lost a lot of work.”
Withers added that fear was the likely cause for many immigrants leaving the business regardless if they were living in the U.S. legally or illegally. As a result, Withers’ noted the trade suffered following the departure of a high percentage of the workforce.
“The feeling is this is a little bit of a hostile place to work,” Withers said after speaking with the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.
Withers explained there will be a number of challenges ahead for the construction industry, and the presence of SB 1070 does not help remedy the situation. Essentially, he said the local business community has demanded significant immigration reform.
Withers noted the Gang of Eight bill may not “solve all of the problems, but we have to start somewhere.”
“Arizona needs labor and one of the major sources is from beyond our borders. There’s no question about that, especially in my industry,” Withers said. “So if a system is put in place that, first of all, illegals that are here can get legalized…but also a way to then expedite work visas to come and find a path to citizenship.”
Withers said, however, he found there was a sense of uniformity concerning immigration reform after speaking with Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake and a number of House members.
“They are fairly united on putting something through,” Withers said. “I think it’s very likely we might see a change.”
Withers explained that, while the nation should support immigration reform, there must be a clear, “streamlined” path to citizenship considering “there’s only 15,000 construction visas in the bill per year for the entire country.”
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon