Alabama Immigration Law Threatening State’s Job Market

This past April, the Service Employees International Union and the Mexican National Association of Democratic Lawyers teamed up with Mexico’s Department of Labor to file a lawsuit citing Alabama’s anti-immigrant legislation to be unconstitutional, according to a Huffington Post commentary piece by Robert E. Scott, Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research of the Economic Policy Institute.

The issue the two organizations have is that many workers without U.S. citizenship do not have legal protection. According to the Economic Policy Institute, United States trade deficits with Mexico resulted in 682,900 displaced jobs. If the United States and Mexico are unable to come to an agreement through negotiation, 13,300 jobs in Alabama will be exported to Mexico, which may have dire affects on the Alabama region’s job market.

According to Scott, Alabama’s law encourages law enforcement officials and residents to take factors such as skin color and accent into consideration before hiring workers. Several reports have been made that allege the law to be detrimental to jobs in the state, including the agriculture industry, which is fairly significant to the state’s economy.

Earlier in the year, The Associated Press reported that since the implementation of the law, job shortages have left many farm owners planting fewer crops. According to an OpEd piece in The Post, migrant farmers have proven vital to the agriculture industry as many native farmers aren’t as skilled as migrants.