PHOENIX — While disagreements remain over the need for Arizona’s anti-immigration law known as SB1070, most people agree that the worldwide publicity did little to boost our state’s image.
The bill led protesters to fill the streets, while allegations of racism and calls to boycott travel and convention business came during a weak economic climate in 2010.
“Until we saw the immediate damage that was being done to the state’s reputation, the business community was not there and the business community did lag in many ways to get into the game,” said James Garcia, a communications consultant. “Broadly speaking, I think that somehow they didn’t consider it their fight.”
But they do now, according to Garcia. He co-founded the Real Arizona Coalition, a group that includes members of the faith community, grassroots organizations, tourism, business and economic development groups. They are focused on getting Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
“We’re talking about a nation whose workforce is aging,” said Garcia. “Thousands of people are moving from the [baby] boomer population to retirement and we need to have some way, as our economy continues to grow, to replace those workers. The most logical place and the most convenient place happens to be right now with those immigrant workers.”
Recently, Michigan’s Republican Gov. Rick Snyder asked the federal government to increase the number of work visas. He wants to attract 50,000 skilled immigrants over the next five years to help rejuvenate his state.
“Historically, we didn’t really partake in a lot of that competition,” said Professor Dennis Hoffman with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “We didn’t have to wage that competition because folks moved here apart from anything we did to attract them. Arizona was its own people magnet.”
Now, Hoffman said Arizona’s state and local leaders must accept that we must compete for businesses. Over the past few years, Hoffman said state leaders have passed pro-business legislation surrounding regulations and taxes. The focus going forward should be on governments investing in education and infrastructure.
“Those cities that have infrastructure in place, be it water, sewer, roads and a facility, even, that’s conducive to attracting business are going to be the winners,” Hoffman said, using Apple’s recent announcement to locate a manufacturing plant in Mesa as an example.
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- 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