Economic Cost of Virginia House Bill 2270 and Senate Bill 1156
The Virginia State legislature is considering two bills that would effectively force local law enforcement to become federal immigration agents. House Bill 2270 and Senate Bill 1156 propose banning policies that limit local cooperation and information-sharing with federal authorities on immigration matters. These bills would create a hostile environment in Virginia potentially causing contributing members of the immigrant community to leave the state as a result. The bills could result in significant costs for the state, including a loss of almost $38 million in taxes paid by undocumented immigrants. It would also jeopardize key parts of Virginia’s workforce in industries like construction and food services.
This brief models what the economic costs would be if HB 2270 and SB 1156 were signed into law and 10 percent of the state’s undocumented population were to leave as a result. To be conservative, it also models the impact if Virginia experienced just half the immigrant exodus – five percent.
In either of the two cases modeled – the Arizona-style 10 percent immigrant exodus or the more conservative five percent exodus – the state would risk losing millions of dollars in taxes and GDP in just one year.
New American Economy. (2019). Economic Cost of Virginia House Bill 2270 and Senate Bill 1156. Retrieved from https://research.newamericaneconomy.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2019/02/Virginia_HB2270_SB1156_Brief.pdf