Economic impact of protestors and immigration law explained

Reporter: Amy Galo Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

An economist from Florida Gulf Coast University analyzed what the protests and the new immigration laws will do to the economy.

Nearly a thousand people showed up at Wednesday’s march. The average market value per worker in a day in Southwest Florida is around $260 according to FGCU economist Amir Neto.

“If they’re not working, that’s an economic loss. Plus any spillover effects into the area where businesses are not happening,” Neto said.

For one day of protest, with a thousand workers present, is $260,000 lost per day.

The Florida Immigrant Coalition is calling for a work stoppage to last five days.

“When we start adding the numbers for the impact that’s going to happen throughout this week, we can get a good understanding of the economic loss of the state from the protest,” Neto said.

Once the new immigration law goes into effect Saturday, its effects will only grow.

“Half of my family are immigrants, and they live hidden. They live finding jobs that will pay them whatever it is that they can take, just so they can make the next bill the next groceries,” A protestor said.

The effect will also be felt by local businesses as migrant workers make up a lot of the hospitality, agriculture and construction industries.

“So anything that disrupts that patterns can have, will have an economic impact in this state,” Neto said.

While it is a free government system, Neto told WINK News even small companies have to dedicate time and resources just to set up E-Verify.

With a requirement to now use this, Neto said the hiring process may take a bit longer, especially for migrants.

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