As the summer heats up in Arizona the debate over the controversial immigration bill, SB 1070, has kept pace.
Federal district court judge Susan Bolton has until July 29 to make the decision on whether or not the bill is constitutional. If the bill holds up it will take affect at 12:01 a.m. on July 29.
Bolton’s decision certainly has a much greater impact than the news stories it generates, but the issue certainly is the driving force this week behind coverage for Arizona publications. The controversy extends to each and every section of coverage. It has provided a unique opportunity for me this week.
The experience I have had over at The Arizona Republic has been priceless. I have had the opportunity to cover a number of stories, two of which landed on the front page, which focused on the recovery of the Phoenix economy and the economic impact of losing Tempe Town Lake. However, as with the majority of day-to-day business coverage my work is done at a desk that receives more than a few phone calls.
However, this week with the expectation of the SB 1070 going into effect, I get to hit the streets to find out exactly how quickly and how dramatically it may impact the Arizona workforce and economy. While my assignment is only a small share of the extensive coverage that the business section is looking to provide, it is exciting nonetheless.
I will be spending the mornings this week looking at different locations throughout the Valley that generally have day laborers waiting for potential work. I will be returning to those same locations Thursday morning if the law takes affect to see what the immediate impact is on these workers who are possibly illegal immigrants in the state.
Whether you agree or disagree with the position the judge eventually takes, the impact of her decision will be HUGE.
As we move into an economic recovery, the impact this could have on the state in terms of production, workforce, boycotts, etc. is potentially very damaging. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Be sure to check out azcentral.com throughout the week for evolving coverage on one of the biggest stories of the year.