Hispanic Chamber Expresses Concern About ‘Anti-Immigrant’ Laws

NEW ORLEANS – From the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL):

The HCCL, advocating for Hispanic-owned businesses, expresses deep disappointment in the Louisiana state legislature for advancing a law that threatens the safety of the Hispanic community and could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics and Latinos.

If Governor Jeff Landry signs SB 388 into law, it would mandate state and local police to pursue anyone suspected of being an undocumented immigrant, rather than focusing on keeping communities safe from all crimes that have earned our state the title of one of the most dangerous in the nation. Such enforcement falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government and should remain there. Supporters argue that this measure aims to protect Louisiana residents.

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Our community will fear Landry’s order because it does not mention any of the economic benefits of immigration. Immigrants open businesses, rebuild our state, take low-paying jobs and pay taxes, though many cannot collect social security and other benefits.

The Hispanic Community continues to grow and thrive in Louisiana, providing a strong workforce and economy contribution. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population in Louisiana has been steadily growing over the years. Between 2010 and 2020, the Hispanic population increased by approximately 25%. This growth has contributed to the diversity of Louisiana’s population and has implications for workforce demographics and cultural dynamics within the state.

The Hispanic community in Louisiana plays a significant role in various sectors of the state’s economy, including construction, hospitality, agriculture, and healthcare. According the US Census, in 2022 the Hispanic and Latino community in Louisiana held 22.6% of all construction jobs, compared to the 8% of non-Hispanic descent. The labor of the Hispanic Community helps sustain key sectors of Louisiana’s economy, supporting businesses and driving economic growth.

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These proposals concern not only individuals and groups representing the Hispanic community, but also business owners and residents at large. Targeting the entire Hispanic community in the pursuit of civil immigration enforcement not only fails to address the issue but also fosters a climate of fear that could directly impact the economy.

“I acknowledge the frustration with our broken immigration system, but this is not the answer. What we truly need is a comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border, ensure a steady labor force, and regularize the status of hardworking immigrant families who contribute to our region’s prosperity,” stated Mayra E. Pineda, President & CEO of the HCCL.

About the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana

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The Mission of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL) is to foster the continued economic growth, development, and promotion of Hispanic businesses and their associations in the State of Louisiana, and to serve as the conduit between the Hispanic business community and the community at large.

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