PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico (AFP) – A controversial immigration law in Arizona has likely provoked the voluntary departure of 100,000 Hispanics from the southern US state, according to a study released Wednesday.
“Several months after the law was applied, it’s possible to observe a lower number of Hispanics in that area of America. We estimate there are 100,000 less Hispanics compared to the start of 2010,” said the report by the private BBVA Bancomer foundation, released at the two-day Global Forum on Migration and Development, in the Pacific resort of Puerto Vallarta.
“It’s possible that this reduction is largely due to the potential application of the law,” the report said.
It was unclear where those who left Arizona had gone, but most were probably elsewhere in the United States, it added.
Arizona’s governor in July approved a law giving police broader powers to pursue illegal immigrants, but a federal judge temporarily blocked some of its more controversial provisions, including making it a crime not to carry proper papers.
About 30 percent of Arizona’s 6.6 million people are Hispanic, according to US census data. One third of them are foreign born, including the estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants in the state.