Fear and loathing in Georgia

Apparently illegal immigrants have stopped spending money:

And the fallout has spread far beyond car dealers, which immediately felt the impact from a law that went into effect on July 1 requiring a Georgia driver’s license or ID card to get a car tag. It’s affecting bakeries, insurance peddlers, banks, food manufacturers, supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses.

Why the slowdown in spending?

Tougher state and local laws that affect illegal immigrants and the lack of resolution over their status after the proposed immigration reform collapsed in Washington earlier this year have left many saving money, spending less and wondering what will happen next.

Add to this a slowdown in the housing market, which affects the job stability of a portion of the Hispanic work force in Georgia.

“This is like a double whammy,” says UGA demographer Douglas Bachtel, who studies the Hispanic population. “Whenever there’s anything new, there’s fear and uncertainty, especially with the immigration status.”

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23 comments

  1. ChuckEaton says:

    If you operate a business that caters to people who are in this country illegaly then by definition you’re taking a risk.

  2. kevpriest says:

    Actually, I think it may be a larger issue than just illegal immigrants not spending money; I think a lot of them have left. It’s anecdotal, but the recent news that there were 3500 less students than expected in the Gwinnett school system (and they may have to fire teachers as a result) suggests something is going on. I buy gas pretty much exclusively at QuickTrip, and the morning lines have gone WAY down over the last 3 months. It used to be I couldn’t afford to go inside and get a soft drink because the lines were too long. Now, just walk right up to the counter most days.

  3. Federalist says:

    They could be moving,…to places that would rather have money than “brown people.” This is not an unfounded statement either. There has been a history in the US of creating policy to get rid of certain ethnic groups. Nearly all drugs policies were formulated for this purpose. Immigration quotas were used, using different censuses, to favor immigrants from particular countries and regions. Interestingly enough…we never had a quota instituted for people coming from Mexico or Canada…until recently.

  4. Rick Day says:

    I went into a mextaurant yesterday on Buford Hwy. The waitress said they have lost about half their business since July, and she is not quite sure why.

    This is what, I believe Ron Paul calls “Blowback”

    bwahahahahaaaaa…..raise taxes on whitey, they DESERVE it!

  5. CobbGOPer says:

    What irritates me is that no one ever throws the blame where it deserves to be thrown: at the Mexican Government.

    Please, don’t you think liberals (and most people, I think, not just liberals, this would irk me too) would be screaming if the US government came out with an official policy to the effect of: all our homeless, poor, undereducated, underemployed citizens will be encouraged and provided with the information and tools to illegally move to… oh, let’s say France for the sake of argument. So we can get rid of them and not deal with their problems.

    The government of Mexico does this. Openly. With no qualms whatsoever.

    Instead of working to fix their bloated and corrupt government which in turn leads to poor economic policy and poor enforcement of business law leading to less economic opportunity for citizens, the Mexicans say “Hey, here’s the best way to sneak into the US, cause you can get a job there and then make money and then send it back here for the good of your family and the economy.”

    What they fail to say is that they will then take their cut, like they do with Mexican oil revenues.

    The immigrants say it’s not fair that we’re trying to be so tight. What’s not fair is another country trying to push its problems off on us because they’re too corrupt and morally bankrupt to attempt to fix the problem themselves.

  6. Federalist says:

    You argument is pretty stupid. I know you do not like France because the GOP says you shouldn’t. Furthermore, our homeless and poor (and the rest you mentioned) would not go to Mexico…it is too damn hot. On top of that, CobbGOPer,…why didn’t we just let the Iraqi people do that themselves? Seriously…just substitute the word Iraq (make the necessary changes in usage to fit the syntax) for Mexico in your last post. With the exception of the parts talking about illegal immigration. It has nothing to do with liberal or conservative…it has to do with the appropriate use of public policy. The GOP just picks and chooses there targets selectively.

  7. ChuckEaton says:

    Santa Anna would be having a really good laugh right now – realizing his biggest strategic mistake was using weapons to take back Mexican territory.

  8. jsm says:

    It is not our Nation’s purpose to take on ALL immigrants that want to come here. We have limits for a reason–we cannot afford to shoulder the world’s poverty. Immigration limits have been criminally infringed, and new laws may be helping us remove some of those who are here illegally.

    Claiming that those who support ridding the state of illegals are racist is shameful and baseless.

    Sure, we will have some negative effects from illegals leaving, and this is a consequence of not enforcing the law. Our government is at fault for this. Those who have chosen to earn their living from illegal aliens will face the brunt of the consequences, and this is a risk they willfully took.

    I am not concerned about losing the economic activity of illegals. We will weather this storm and come out just fine on the other end, because of American entrepreneurship and ingenuity. So you libs continue slinging your insults and doomsday predictions, while capitalism and the free market take care of business.

  9. The Comma Guy says:

    Notice the first picture in the AJC – the one of Valeria Espinosa. Anyone notice anything wrong with it?

    Perhaps her business might be better if she would appeal to a broader market share, rather than that niche of folks who are illegally here.

  10. buzzbrockway says:

    We should use NAFTA and other tools in our arsenal to push Mexico to reform. Corruption must be dealt with but also they need a freer marketplace.

    Make it easier to start a business. Clearly the Mexican people are hard workers – they come here and start their own businesses and are successful. Why can’t they do it at home? Because their government has erected barriers to starting a business.

  11. ChuckEaton says:

    When you’re niche is illegal aliens it comes with a level of risk. It’s similar to a bar owner, who caters to kids under 21, complaining how much business is down ever since the police starting cracking-down on underage drinking.

    Besides, I’d say the drop in their business has more to do with the slow-down in the new housing market.

  12. Federalist says:

    You are all unamerican. Do your country a favor and read “the second treatise of government” and you will find that even locke would think that making a persons entry and existence within the borders of any country is not only counter-productive….but undemocratic. I will not say anything more on this subject…unless provoked…my “bleeding liberal heart” could honestly careless about the well being of other people. I do not care if they starve or die of incurable plague. If they do not leave their country to seek economic security, then they are doing a disservice to not only themselves…but to any concept of natural law.

  13. StevePerkins says:

    Instead of working to fix their bloated and corrupt government which in turn leads to poor economic policy

    Amen to that. Of course, the biggest “poor economic policy” chose by the Mexican government in the past generation was the decision to ratify NAFTA. That agreement had about as much to do with “free trade” as the Patriot Act has to do with civil liberties. The agreement was basically, “Mexico will expose its unsubsidized agriculture market to subsidized American competition, and in exchange the U.S. will send manufacturing jobs to Mexico”.

    Mexico upheld the first half, and the catastrophic result on their agriculture industry is responsible for most of the past decade’s illegal immigration surge. (do people really NOT connect the dots and notice that we had no significant nationwide immigration problem at all until post-NAFTA?) However, one year after NAFTA was ratified, the U.S. pushed for China’s entry into the WTO… and all those manufacturing jobs that were supposed to go to Mexico went to Asia instead.

    I’m not crying crocodile tears for Mexico… they new the risks they were taking when they signed the treaty with us. However, the pseudo-free trade crowd (from BOTH major political parties) needs to realize that screwing people over with rigged agreements is NOT in our best interests long-term. It just shifts things around and generates worse problems to deal with.

  14. Federalist says:

    We are talking about mexico…a country that was killing their presidents when they left office just 70 years ago. I would not expect to much from that country, other than a bunch of cheap labor.

  15. A business that depends on:

    1) workers who are illegal aliens, and/or
    2) customers who are illegal aliens

    has no right to be in business. They can adjust their business model or shut the doors.

    Federalist, if you truly are a federalist, you should be applauding the action that is prompting this downturn. The people of Georgia spoke and the Georgia state legislators responded. They used as much power as they could usurp to send the message that laws still matter here. Frankly, I’m proud to be a Georgian after reading this.

    As far the illegals in Georgia who are now saving money and are scared to drive or go to the store: Please take the next logical step and LEAVE. You were not invited here by the populace. You are not welcome. Come back in the right way and we’ll welcome you with open arms. If not, find another state to bilk. Delta is ready when you are. Use it to fly away.

  16. Federalist says:

    You obviously do not know who the federalists were. The undocumented immigrants were invited and given a very warm welcome by Americans that wanted their landscaping done cheaper, by factory managers that wanted harder workers for lower wages. They can not use delta or any airline in the U.S because new security measures. ETC ETC.

  17. “The undocumented immigrants were invited and given a very warm welcome by Americans that wanted their landscaping done cheaper, by factory managers that wanted harder workers for lower wages.”

    They were not welcomed by the citizens. They were welcomed by scofflaws who were willing to violate the law to save a buck. Why don’t those same people just steal things they need from stores? They break one law to save a buck. Why not break others? They are just as guilty as the illegals and should receive the punishment they deserve.

  18. Federalist says:

    what if you purchase the services or products of companies that employ undocumented immigrants to make or provide said products and services? There is little room in academic for uneducated people, but I can assure you that you have supported this scheming by purchasing products or services that are less expensive. What would the world come to if people actually knew what went into the things they buy? Discovery channel and news touch on these things occasionally, but people really do not care. Where were the bleeding hearts in past decades when blood diamonds flooded the markets? My wife’s diamonds are probably blood diamonds, but that did not stop me from purchasing them. Did the fact that shoes were made by children for 5 cents a day stop people from buying the shoes? No. The list of the injustices goes on, but the prices stay competitive…and those dollar signs matter more to Americans than the other facts.

  19. “What would the world come to if people actually knew what went into the things they buy? Discovery channel and news touch on these things occasionally, but people really do not care. ”

    We would have the chance to make more informed choices. And I would care.

  20. DavidAtlanta says:

    I can’t imagine any country allowing lots of people to settle within it without them first going through proper legal channels.

    We need to keep pushing for reform at the federal level. The current situation is untenable. 12 million illegal immigrants is not a good thing.

    I’d love to see a system that recognizes our need for labor and encourages legal immigration. At the same time, I want to see governments enforce rules that prevent the hiring of immigrants who did not come here legally.

    We don’t owe illegal immigrants anything. It’s risky to move to any country without following that nation’s laws on immigration.

    If I moved to Canada without following Canada’s rules, I’d expect to be kicked out if I got caught. Same thing goes for Mexico. If I just moved to Mexico and started doing my own thing without following the laws of Mexico that govern immigration, I’d expect to run into problems. The same standard should apply here, too.

    Our system needs reform to recognize that there are people who want to come here to work. We should design the system to be functional and realistic. We should then expect employers and immigrants (and everyone else) to follow those rules. One benefit to the immigrants would be that they could fully participate in our economy and would no longer have to hide in fear.

  21. Keyword: Illegal

    No one is against legal immigrants. No legislation has been targeted at them. If this is in fact true, then we (as Georgians) will benefit from it in a few years. This benefit is not immediate, but a longer window. Things like education, healthcare, insurance will all start to decrease with more legal folks all paying into the system with less risk.

    Why are all so focused on race this week? I do not care what color you are or from what country you originally resided; as long as you are LEGAL, you are an American.

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