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SB 1070 damages Arizona, Mexico economic relations

The Mexican Consul General has declared that despite efforts by Arizona officials to improve the relationship between Arizona and Mexico, Senate Bill 1070 did irreparable economic damage.

In an interview with the Phoenix Business Journal, Mexican Consul General Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez said that Arizona is still losing money because of the aftermath of SB 1070.

The bill allows police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are not in the U.S. legally.

Rodriguez described the bill as “social terrorism.”

“It terrorized people with the threat of what it could do as opposed to actually having any real effect,” he said. “In the eyes of the world, Arizona appeared to be a place of racism and discrimination,” he said of what he observed on his own and heard about from his peers.

Since 2012, Rodriguez has worked with Arizona officials such as Gov. Doug Ducey to work on improving the economic relationship between Arizona and Mexico, the largest consumer of Arizona-made goods.

“Entrepreneurship increases opportunities, Gov. Ducey and Mayor Stanton understand this,” he said. “We are seeing better opportunities, but there is more to be done to really show that Arizona wants to open opportunities to more people.”

Despite the efforts that have been extended, there is still a large gap that needs to be filled.

“Arizona’s image is getting better, but there is money in Mexico for investment in Arizona, and the relationship needs to be improved to access those funds.”

Rodriguez also commented on the difficulty undocumented immigrants face when it comes to obtaining licenses and getting jobs.

“When people have jobs, there is less demand for social services,” he said. “There are also more retail purchases of new and used cars and more.”

In an effort to build and restore relations with the neighboring nation, Gov. Ducey is positioning the Arizona Mexico Commission to create the opportunity for more business, job and market growth.