Newsday New York
June 26, 2012
It’s far away from the steps of the Supreme Court, but in many ways it’s just as relevant to the debate over immigration, the economy and laws like Arizona’s SB 1070. When Alfred Peña teaches cha-cha, rumba and samba classes at Rhythmology, his Westbury dance studio, there’s one rule that’s above all others: Create an environment that’s welcoming for everyone.
“Every business owner is trying to reach out to people,” says Peña, a 29-year-old Dominican immigrant who has been running his studio since 2009.
Peña knows what politicians in Arizona, Alabama and Georgia apparently don’t: Laws like Arizona’s “Show me your papers” provision are millstones hindering economic development. They send the message to immigrants who wish to come here to start businesses that they are unwelcome.