PORTLAND, OR – As Oregon voters consider Ballot Measure 105 ahead of the November 6 election, new research from New American Economy (NAE) highlights the negative economic impact the state could face if Oregonians vote “yes” to repeal Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820, the state’s 31-year-old anti-racial profiling law.
Measure 105 proposes to undo Oregon’s anti-racial profiling law, which currently prohibits state agencies, including law enforcement, from using state resources or personnel to detect or apprehend individuals whose only violation is that of federal immigration law. Passage of the ballot measure would allow local law enforcement to effectively become immigration enforcement agents, creating a hostile environment in Oregon and causing contributing members of the immigrant community to leave the state as a result. The measure could have far reaching costs for the state, including a loss of more than $6 million in state and local taxes paid by undocumented immigrants and nearly $330 million in GDP. It would also jeopardize significant parts of the workforce in some of Oregon’s key industries, including restaurants, agriculture, and construction. NAE’s analysis is based off of the economic loss Arizona experienced after it passed similarly restrictive legislation, Senate Bill 1070, in 2010.
“In Oregon, being welcoming is at the core of who we are,” said Tim Boyle, CEO of Columbia Sportswear. “Immigrants living in Oregon are employees, business owners, neighbors, and an integral part of our vibrant community. Ballot Measure 105 doesn’t just go against Oregon values, it poses a threat to our state’s economy.”
“If Oregon goes the way of Arizona, it’s likely to see a similar economic backlash as workers in key industries flee the state,” said Jeremy Robbins, Executive Director of New American Economy. “The potential costs of this could easily stretch into the hundreds of millions of dollars.”
NAE’s new research finds that if Measure 105 passed and 10 percent of the state’s undocumented population left as a result, the state would lose hundreds of millions of dollars within just one year. Specifically:
- Oregon would lose $329.8 million in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The state’s metro areas would lose $286.1 million in GDP, while non-metro areas would lose $50.8 million.
- Oregon would lose $10.4 million in federal taxes and $6.2 million in state and local taxes.
- Oregon would lose an estimated 7,048 employed workers and $189 million in wage earnings.
- Oregon would lose an estimated 1,287 jobs and $42.1 million in wage earnings that are dependent on undocumented immigrant consumers and supporters of industry.