Register | Forgot Your Password? | Close
listen Listen: Voice For A Better Arizona: Immigration: Dan Withers
Dan Withers of D.L. Withers Construction joins Rob Hunter and Mike Russell to talk about how SB 1070 and Immigration have affected the construction industry.

The controversial immigration law SB 1070 has apparently affected Arizona's construction industry since the bill was signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010.

Dan Withers, president of D.L. Withers Construction, said the bill negatively impacted the overall labor force and "tourism tax dollars" because of the declining construction jobs in the Valley.

"We already had a 50 percent reduction in labor in this state, so we were already hurting," Withers told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Bruce St. James Show. "When all those tax revenues dropped and capital improvements started dropping, we lost a lot of work."

Withers added that fear was the likely cause for many immigrants leaving the business regardless if they were living in the U.S. legally or illegally. As a result, Withers' noted the trade suffered following the departure of a high percentage of the workforce.

"The feeling is this is a little bit of a hostile place to work," Withers said after speaking with the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, D.C.

Withers explained there will be a number of challenges ahead for the construction industry, and the presence of SB 1070 does not help remedy the situation. Essentially, he said the local business community has demanded significant immigration reform.

Withers noted the Gang of Eight bill may not "solve all of the problems, but we have to start somewhere."

"Arizona needs labor and one of the major sources is from beyond our borders. There's no question about that, especially in my industry," Withers said. "So if a system is put in place that, first of all, illegals that are here can get legalized…but also a way to then expedite work visas to come and find a path to citizenship."

Withers said, however, he found there was a sense of uniformity concerning immigration reform after speaking with Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeff Flake and a number of House members.

"They are fairly united on putting something through," Withers said. "I think it's very likely we might see a change."

Withers explained that, while the nation should support immigration reform, there must be a clear, "streamlined" path to citizenship considering "there's only 15,000 construction visas in the bill per year for the entire country.",

share this story:
Attention Comment Users: We have recently changed our comments boards.
We would like you to be part of the conversation and The Voice of Arizona by logging in with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing KTAR (Arizona Sports) account members will need to create a Disqus account or use one of the aforementioned social media logins. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus

World Class Arizona

  • Dignity Health

    World Class People. World Class Company. Excellent care, delivered with compassion, for all in need.
  • CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company

    SCF Arizona has a new name. They are now CopperPoint Mutual Insurance Company.
  • Taylor Morrison

    World Class People. World Class Company. We are a national home builder committed to building homes inspired by you.
  • Go Daddy

    World Class People. World Class Company. Go Daddy is a Fortune 100 "Best Companies to Work For."
  • Avnet

    World Class People. World Class Company. Here's information on a Fortune 500 company from Arizona.

Voice For A Better Arizona

  • Working For Arizona

    The business and economics of Arizona at the start of 2014 and looking forward.
  • Arizonans In Need

    Putting a focus on charities and organizations who provide help and/or need your help to fulfill their missions.