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Research Roundup: Anti-Immigrant Legislation Will Cost Your State, Alarming Facts on Recovery, and Best Practices for Health Exchanges

In this week’s Research Roundup: Reports from the Center for American Progress, Small Business Majority, and the Economic Policy Institute on the high costs of being anti-immigrant, some alarming facts about the economic recovery, and best practices for setting up health care exchanges for small businesses.

Your State Can’t Afford It: Remember, it’s expensive to be anti-immigrant — This Center for American Progress (CAP) report examines the high cost to Arizona as it continues to pay for SB 1070, as well as the price tag that states like Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and South Carolina can expect for enacting SB 1070 copycat bills. Arizona has already lost approximately $141 million in lost conference revenue and cancelations since the passage of SB 1070 a little over one year ago. Georgia’s fruit and vegetable industry can expect a $250 million decrease in just one year thanks to its SB 1070 copycat bill. Undocumented immigrants in Arizona, Alabama and Georgia are responsible for over a billion dollars in tax revenue — all of which is jeopardized by SB 1070 and its ill-advised counterparts. Finally, defending anti-immigrant and unconstitutional laws in the courts is proving expensive for cash-strapped states and local governments. For example, Hazelton, PA has already spent $2.8 million defending its anti-immigrant ordinance. In addition, as Progressive States Network has previously outlined, Fremont, NE increased property taxes 18% to defend its anti-immigrant law — one which is currently on hold after a court challenge. This CAP report confirms that your state, like Arizona, cannot afford the economic damage of a SB 1070 copycat.

Ten facts about the recovery —This Economic Policy Institute brief provides ten alarming facts about the recovery from the most severe economic contraction the nation has experienced in almost 70 years. The authors conclude, “These 10 facts show that, while we have now officially been in a recovery for two years, the labor market has actually made little improvement since the depth of the downturn. Given this situation, it is extremely premature for policymakers to place their focus on deficits instead of jobs. It must be our top priority to do everything we can to stimulate demand and generate jobs.”

SHOPping Around: Setting up State Health Care Exchanges for Small Businesses: A Roadmap — This report from Center for American Progress and Small Business Majority provides a roadmap for states, policymakers, health reform advocates, and small-business leaders to create Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges. It includes an overview of the problems small businesses face affording health care and provides details of the SHOP exchange and how it will help.