With all the impending immigration policies under Trump, a spotlight has been put upon California. The California economy is undeniably intertwined with the the work of undocumented immigrants. California alone has an annual GDP of 2.4 trillion dollars and an estimated 180 billion of that comes from undocumented workers. To protect both its economy and its residents, California is currently looking to pass two bills to help immigrant workers — The California Values Act and The Immigration Protection Act. In recent years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has utilized racial profiling and unconstitutional measures to conduct mass deportations via immigration raids.
When considering the implications of mass deportation on the California economy, one can look to Alabama as an example. In 2011, Alabama tightened its immigration policies intensely. In turn, employers began to notice large numbers of absentee workers, as undocumented workers were too fearful to report to their jobs. This created a rise in price levels, consistent with a decrease in supply as labor dropped. California does not want to follow in these footsteps.
Rather, many people have stake in the continuation of undocumented labor in California. Clearly, the workers themselves would like to maintain their standard of living; but they are not the only ones who benefit. Employers, such as farmers, rely heavily on this labor. Without it, supply of product would decrease significantly, as in the case of Alabama. Therefore, the everyday Californian benefits, too, as loss of this labor would create inflation. Thus, it is in California’s best interest to protect its undocumented labor force.
– Callan Hendershott