Study: Undocumented Hispanics Vacate 80,000 Jobs in Alabama

Alabama’s immigration law, considered the toughest in the country, has come at a high price for the state, according to a new study.

A cost-benefit analysis by a University of Alabama economist estimates that the crackdown, begun in June, meant that undocumented Hispanics vacated some 80,000 jobs, costing the state’s economy up to $10.8 billion.

The vacated jobs also meant that Alabama lost up to $264.5 million in state sales and income taxes, and some $93.1 million in lost city and county sales taxes, the study said.

The Alabama law requires police to detain people they suspect of being in the U.S. illegally if they do not have documentation when stopped for any reason. A federal appeals court blocked parts of the law, including a requirement that school officials verify legal status when a child enrolls. State Republican leaders have said that the law may need some revising. But State Representative Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, told Reuters that about $9 million has already been spent on litigation to defend the new law.