by Locker Room contributor
Riverside, N.J., on Wednesday night passed the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, which “makes it illegal to hire people who cannot prove they are legally in the United States, or to rent or lease them property.” Fines start at $1,000 per offense, and a violator also could lose his or her business permit for five years.
Before Brazilian immigrants began moving here in the last five years or so, (Celeste) Martiniano (a restaurant owner) said, the downtown business district, once a bustling shopping area, had been in decline. But of the new ordinance, she said, ?this is going to kill the town.?
For the last 25 years, Ms. Martiniano has lived in this Burlington County town of 8,000 residents, where as many as 2,000 to 3,000 immigrants live today. Business has been good since the opening of her restaurant two years ago, largely because of the growing Brazilian population. But on this day, there were no takers for the chicken legs spinning on spits over open flames.
She shouldn’t worry. Subsidies, incentives, TIFs, economic development groups, non-profits — oh, and politicians — are always there to pick up the slack.