$141 million is the total amount of convention-related revenues lost in the four months after Arizona passed SB 1070, a bill requiring immigration enforcement by local officials, according to a November 2010 Center for American Progress report.
$1.8 billion is the total economic activity New Mexico would lose if all undocumented immigrants were removed from the state, according to an April 2008 report by The Perryman Group, a Texas-based economic analysis firm.
" This significant hit to direct visitor spending could not come at a worse economic time for Arizona and yet these numbers still vastly understate the overall consequences of these cancellations for the state’s economy."
—Center for American Progress, “Stop the Conference,” November 2010
On Feb. 3, a throng of New Mexico lawmakers gathered in the center of the state capitol to oppose an executive order signed by Gov. Susana Martinez four days earlier.
“This order is inherently un-New Mexican,” state Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Bernalillo, proclaimed. “It goes against everything we stand for.”
The order rescinds a 2005 executive order barring state law enforcement officers from asking anyone’s immigration status, replacing it with a requirement that officers “inquire into the criminal suspect’s immigration status and report relevant information” to federal authorities.
“Well, guess what?” Maestas, a lawyer, said, working the crowd. “Everyone in this room is a criminal suspect if a law enforcement official wants us to be.”
State Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, took a different tack.
“We are talking about jobs. We are talking about New Mexico’s economy. What are we doing?” Wirth demanded. “Here in Santa Fe, tourism is our economic development. We need people to come to this state. We cannot be like Arizona.”
In her Jan. 18 State of the State address, Martinez declared New Mexico’s financial crisis “the issue that supersedes all others.”
If Arizona—where law enforcement costs are also projected to rise—is any indication, that crisis won’t change anytime soon.