Immigration reform has always been a touchy subject in this country, but even by that standard, the immigration law that Arizona passed last month has stirred an incredible amount of outrage.
The law in question attempts to crack down on Arizona’s immigration problem by allowing police to force anyone they find suspicious to produce their alien registration documents. While critics argue this essentially creates a police state where cops will undoubtedly engage in a kind of racial profiling, supporters claim that this will help reduce the number of illegal immigrants living and working in the state.
The new law has been panned by officials in both parties, including President Obama and Tom Ridge, the former Homeland Security Chief under President Bush. Dozens of protests have been planned in cities across the country, several lawsuits have been filed against the state, some college students have started to withdraw from Arizona’s universities and the state's own basketball team is protesting the decision.
Arizona is also feeling some serious financial backlash from the bill. Their tourism industry may suffer in the near future as Americans have reportedly canceled trips to the state, which is particularly bad since the industry is still ailing from the recession. Mexico has also issued a travel advisory to their citizens warning them that they may be “bothered and questioned” if they set foot in the state. On top of that, some Americans are boycotting products from Arizona, including Arizona Iced Tea (which is actually produced in New York).
Yet, given the backlash, we were curious to find out who, if anyone, may actually benefit from the passage of this bill.
Big Oil Businesses
Pretty much the only thing more controversial than the immigration bill right now is the oil business, thanks to the awful Gulf Coast oil spill. But it turns out one may help push up the other. Several U.S. senators were on the verge of introducing a comprehensive bipartisan climate change bill, but once Arizona passed their immigration reform bill, Washington put those efforts on the backburner and are now urgently working on a federal overhaul of immigration law. For the time being, that means big oil companies have one less thing to worry about.