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Markup of H.R. 3012 Today & an Economist Blog Post

October 25, 2011

This afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee met for markup on a number of bills. The committee just adjourned moments ago without taking action on H.R. 3012. However, another markup session is scheduled on Thursday this week, and the committee may consider the bill then.

In a recent post, the Democracy in America blog on the Economist website again addressed state laws seeking to regulate undocumented workers. The second paragraph of the blog post summarizes some of the human cost of state laws regulating immigration:

One woman is too scared to leave her apartment. Another family flees in the middle of the night, heading for North Carolina because the police followed the father home from work. A law office draws up papers detailing how eight- and ten-year-old children should be cared for if both of their parents should be seized. Students who look Hispanic receive print-outs explaining the harsh new law. These are people living in terror of a government with vastly expanded new powers . . . .

In the following paragraph, the post cites to a report by the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. This past spring’s growing season was the first to show the economic impacts of Georgia’s new immigration law. The result? An estimated loss of over $181 million in total goods and services and the loss of 1,512 full-time jobs in Georgia per year. As a result of the multiplier effect,

[t]he impact tables show that for each $1 million lost in berry production there is an additional $1.4 million of lost output and about 20 [lost] jobs. Each $1 million in vegetables results in an additional indirect impact of $1.34 million and the loss of about 19 total full time jobs. For example, IF the survey results were representative of all acreage, the total yearly impact would be about $391 million and the job loss would be about 3,260 on a statewide basis.

Agriculture is a significant sector of Georgia’s economy. In a report prepared last year for a Council on Tax Reform and Fairness in the state, the Georgia Agribusiness Council describes agriculture as “the largest economic engine in the state” responsible for $65 billion in economic impact for the state and representing 351,000 jobs in 2008. Further, “[t]wo thirds of Georgia’s counties have agriculture as their largest or second largest segment of goods produced.”

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