ANTI-IMMIGRANT BILLS will cost us JOBS! No one has asked: How much will Florida’s immigration bills actually cost?

We Are FL Week of Action 070



No one has asked: How much will Florida’s

immigration bills actually cost?




Florida’s governor Rick Scott and Republican leadership, including Senate President Mike Haridopolos have clearly stated their top priorities: Creating jobs and reducing the budget deficit. The Arizona copy-cat, anti-immigrant bills being proposed, SB2040 and HB7089 come into direct contradiction with these two top agenda items. There is growing consensus from diverse sectors that in fact, these bills are actually job killers and budget wreckers. This is not being said by immigrant advocates, it is being said by those who run the engines of job creation in Florida and by those who manage law enforcement budgets. Ironically, the unintended consequence is that these proposed laws will actually hurt not immigrants, but Florida’s entire economy and families.  A conservative estimate of the costs put the price tag of these proposals upwards of $45,000,000,000.  This is not the fiscal conservative approach that this administration seeks as its legacy. In fact, an administration that prides itself in making Florida open for business, keeping government small and supporting family values, should reconsider this costly approach. These bills are no solution to Florida’s tax payers.

Implementation:      $840,000,000

An independent, third party should conduct data analysis to determine exactly what these proposals would cost Florida tax payers. Unbelievably the bills are moving forward without the much touted fiscal impact analysis. Preliminary research indicates that in Florida implementation alone would have an $840,000,000 price tag.

Based on the state of Kentucky’s Legislative Fiscal Impact Analysis, Kentucky could spend an estimated $40 million[1] on the implementation of a state immigration bill, based on a population of 50,000[2] undocumented immigrants (Passel and Cohn 2009, 2). Taking into consideration Kentucky’s estimates and adjusting them based on the population of undocumented immigrants in the state of Florida, which is estimated at 1,050,000[3], Florida could spend about 21 times that of Kentucky, which calculates to about $840 million.

Litigation:              $2,400,000

These copy-cat bills have been rejected by a dozen states who have determined it is the wrong and costly approach. Much of what is being proposed has already been found to be unconstitutional, why would we put our money into a defective solution?. That does not make sense. Averaging out from the three top costly processes to defending a state/local law, Florida could possibly spend an estimated $2.8 million in litigation to defend its no-solution bills.

Unintended Economic Consequences:      $43,900,000

The Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Dr. Dale A Brill, president of the Florida Chamber Foundation, informed legislators in January: “Immigration is critical to Florida’s economy, and further immigration restrictions will have a negative economic impact.”[4]

Based on a report published by Texas based independent research company,  The Perryman Group (TPG), “An Essential Resource: An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Undocumented Workers on Business Activity in the U.S. with Estimated Effects by State and by Industry,” the state of Florida could stand to lose an estimated $43.9 billion in total expenditure if it were to remove its undocumented population (note: based on size of the U.S. Economy in 2008)[5]

Florida received a total number of 80.9 million tourists. Tourists spent more than $60.9 billion and overseas visitors to Florida spent more than $7 billion.

Combining conservative estimates to implementation, litigation and unintended economic consequences the bill to Florida’s tax payers for these non-solutions is a whopping $44,742,400,000.  To be clear, these proposed bills are promoting aspects that are either current law and need no new legislation, are unconstitutional or will actually harm our economy and safety.


45 Billion +

Like it or not, Florida’s economy is largely sustained by immigrants, including unauthorized immigrants and Latino’s—as workers, as tax payers and as consumers. We should take a step back, explore Florida-specific responses and make prudent decisions, not based on the heat of political campaigns but based on a Florida that works for all.

[1] Cheves, John. 2011. “Immigration bill would cost state $40 million a year.” Lexington Herald-Leader, April 14. Accessed April 20, 2011.

[2] Passel, Jeffrey S., and D’Vera Cohn. 2009. A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States. Washington, DC: Pew Hispanic Center.

[3] Ibid.

[4] De La Cruz, Ralph. 2011. “Immigration and the Culture of Fear.” Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, March 23. Accessed April 26, 2011.

[5] An Essential Resource: An Analysis of the Economic Impact of Undocumented Workers on Business Activity in the U.S. with Estimated Effects by State and by Industry.Texas: The Perryman Group, 2008.

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