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Immigrant families leave Arizona and tough new law
Washington Post: Many families in Arizona are choosing to leave the state after the passage of SB 1070. Many parents are quitting their jobs and pulling their children out of school, as they prepare to move out of a state in which they face the threat of being arrested or deported.
"Many families in Arizona, though "pillars of the community" are choosing the leave to escape a tough new state law whose stated intention is unambiguous: To drive illegal immigrants out of Arizona and to discourage them from coming here. There is no official data tracking how many are leaving as a result. "It's something that's really tough to get a handle on numerically," said Bill Schooling, Arizona's state demographer. "It's not just the immigration bill. It's also employer sanctions and the economy. How do you separate out the motivating factors?"
Still, anecdotal evidence provided by schools and businesses in heavily Hispanic neighborhoods and by healthcare clinics suggests that sizable numbers are departing. Ignacio Rodriguez, associate director for the Phoenix Roman Catholic diocese's Office of Hispanic Ministries, said churches in the area are also seeing families leave.
The law requires police investigating another incident or crime to ask people about their immigration status if there's a "reasonable suspicion" they're in the country illegally. It also makes being in Arizona illegally a misdemeanor, and it prohibits seeking day-labor work along the state's streets.
Many parents are in a dilemma: to leave, they must pull their children from school, uproot their lives and look for new jobs and homes elsewhere. But to stay is to be under the scrutiny of the nation's most stringent immigration laws and the potentially greater threat of being caught, arrested and deported. They also perceive a growing hostility toward Hispanics, in general"